The OrCam is Google Glass for the visually impaired

The Navatar app has already provided one way for those with sight problems to navigate their way around buildings using GPS-like technology. Now the OrCam is a headset that recognizes objects in the near environment, as well as hand gestures, delivering audio information to the wearer through bone conduction.

The small camera and computer mounts onto any pair of glasses, and is able to detect the things in the user’s view. Designed for those with partial vision, wearers interact by pointing to objects, text, places and even people they want to identify. The information is then provided in audio form via bone conduction, meaning interaction with the device is private and discrete. The device can be used to find out the name of products in the supermarket, read text that is too small to see, determine if the upcoming bus is the right one, or see if a friend is at a meeting place or not. Users can also teach the device to recognize certain objects that are used regularly. The video below shows the OrCam in action:

Although developed for the visually impaired, it’s possible that such a device could be useful for those with other conditions, such as dementia or dyslexia. The OrCam is available to pre-order for USD 2,500 and the Israel-based company has already sold out of its first shipment of the devices. Are there other ways computer vision can be used to help those with poor sight?


Spotted by: Murray Orange

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