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Science & technology

Sight loss glasses prototype hailed

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 14:26 -- nikita.jain
A PAIR of smart glasses that enable those suffering from sight loss to see obstacles and faces has been named one of 10 finalists in a Google charity competition.

THE Google Impact Challenge is run by the technology giant and asks UK-based charities how they would change the world through innovative technology.
Dragons' Den star and entrepreneur Peter Jones is on the judging panel, and one of the finalists is the smart glasses prototype from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Visually impaired smart glasses shortlisted in Google challenge

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:58 -- nikita.jain

A project to develop smart glasses which can help blind and partially sighted people see shapes and obstacles has been named as one of 10 finalists in this year’s Google Impact Challenge.

Created in partnership between the RNIB and Oxford University, the team has developed a high-tech, cost effective pair of smart glasses which its says will maximise the remaining vision the wearer has.
A 3D camera attached to the glasses captures images of a person’s environment and processes that information to identify shapes and object nearby.

Students drawn by a love of science

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:03 -- nikita.jain
Hong Kong students demonstrated a device that helps visually impaired children learn drawing and mathematics at the fifth Shanghai International Youth Science and Technology Expo yesterday.
Despite being known as an "Eye-Pad," the device presented by a team from the Hong Kong Chinese Women's College is most certainly low-tech, made of velcro tape, straws and cotton twine.

Users wear the device on their wrist. It features a reel of twine that sits on the back of the hand and runs through a straw to an attachment on the user's forefinger.

Touchscreen to feature display with texture

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:54 -- nikita.jain
Electronic devices may soon introduce touchscreens with texture, allowing the creation of Braille reading for the visually impaired.
Researchers from Japanese touchscreen maker NLT Technologies disclosed how they were able to use a variant of electrovibration on a 4.1in wide touchscreen prototype to create localised friction (at multiple touch-points) and thus cause the perception of texture.

Calgary Transit looking to provide ‘tactile maps’ for riders with vision loss

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:36 -- nikita.jain

Calgary is seeking a “design and prototype” of tactile-map technology to help people with visual impairments navigate the city’s transit system.
“We’re looking for something that can be handheld, easily distributed through our customer-service centre, and potentially through the CNIB,” said Chris Jordan, manager of strategic planning with Calgary Transit.
The idea came from citizen feedback during the city’s RouteAhead transit planning process.

Microsoft’s smart ‘Alice band’ could help visually impaired navigate outside

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:26 -- nikita.jain

Microsoft is working with charity Guide Dogs for the Blind, to develop a Google Glass-like wearable that will help the visually impaired get around in crowded places including the public transport.
As reported by The Daily Mail, the device resembles the Alice Band and uses an earpiece for navigation instructions. It works by bouncing information from sensors mounted on any item such as buildings or train carriages to a receiver in the wearer’s headband. The user is able to receive personalised instructions, such as how to get to the airport on time if a train is delayed.

Braille isn't 'embattled' – we're on the cusp of a golden age for blind people

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 19:20 -- nikita.jain

Far from heralding the death of a great medium, technology may be ushering in a new era of access and greater independence Imagine a situation where you walk into your favourite restaurant and ask for the menu, only to be told it isn't available. Chances are it wouldn't stay your favourite for very long.

As a braillist – someone who uses braille – the dream for me is when the opposite happens. A small number of chain restaurants offer menus in braille; sometimes, they're even up to date.

Lord of the smart ring

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 12:32 -- nikita.jain

How would people react when they saw someone walking on the road, talking to themselves, tapping their fingers onto thin air and making weird gestures that no one could understand? Anyone would assume they were crazy. But in Kochi, Kerala, the 20-something group of youngsters at RHL Vision, headed by N. Rohildev, would be beaming. They would ask us to observe the supposedly crazy people further, and notice the tiny “ring” on their finger or as they call it the Fin.


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