By now, most of us have heard about augmented reality or have used it somehow. It is not a new technology, but the way it has been used lately is quite innovative and goes far beyond entertainment purposes.
Augmented Reality happens when we can see our physical real world environment and then modify, replace, or add objects to it (images, sounds, videos, graphics, and GPS data) generated by a computer. It is closely related to a wider concept called mediated reality, and it works by enhancing somehow our perception of reality.
It is important to keep in mind that Augmented Reality is soothing entirely different from Virtual Reality. In the second, we replace our real world environment by a fully simulated one.
OxSight, a new start-up, created and is testing Augmented Reality glasses to help people with very limited vision. They describe this device “as a hearing aid for the blind”. So far, the glasses have proven to work quite good for people who still have a little bit of sight (whether if it is a light detection, movement or shape impairment), and they use that slight portion of their vision to amplify it with the glasses.
One of the main advantages of the glasses, and that might be what is holding back its full potential, is that there is nothing connected to the brain and it doesn’t have a direct interaction with the eyeball. Instead, it works with well-known technologies like see-through displays, cameras and computer vision representations that have already been developed on Augmented Reality to understand the real world environment. It makes OxSight very friendly and easy to use.
Another great feature of the glasses is that their creators understand that there are a lot of causes for vision loss and that every case is different. That’s why they created a board so the user can customise and adjust the parameters of the image they are seeing. This board assures the user will be able to understand his/her surrounding and the objects in it.
For people who have lost their vision capabilities over the years, this has represented a great change because now, thanks to OxSight, they can see their families faces and that’s something they thought were never be able to do again.