Designed by Dr Stephen Hicks at Oxford University have developed glasses that aid multiple eye conditions by enhancing the environment around the user. The glasses are alternatives to the use of guide dogs that can become ill or retire due to age and walking canes that cannot detect objects at head height. Although vision is not restored to a natural state it is the safest option to use in conjunction with canes or dogs as the navigation in crowded public spaces or inside buildings becomes difficult.
Functionality of the glasses is based on the camera component within the glasses that captures images of items by projecting infra-red laser beams from the glasses on to objects that are around the user. The images are then outlined and augmented in a projection highlighted on the lenses of the glasses that the user can see. The camera can detect and indicate objects at the distance of 3 meter radius from the user enabling a safer environment the closer the object the clearer it is projected on the screen of the glasses.
Currently the glasses are compatible with central or peripheral sight loss and most common eye conditions such as damaged retinas. AMD (age related macular degeneration) affects the central vision there is no medical cure for the condition but the RNBI glasses have the potential to help people with the condition.
Quotes: “one of the advantages of the transparent display, other than the fact you can still see the world, is they are good for a sociable point of view as other people can still see your eyes. They don’t look like goggles so much, they look like normal glasses” – Stuart Golodetz