Camera-Equipped “EyeRing” Helps Visually Impaired Identify Objects

by , 08/10/12   filed under: Wearable Technology

Roy Shilkrot, Suranga Nanayakkara, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, design for health, blindness, physical disabilities, wearable technology, eco-friendly accessories, sustainable accessories, eco-friendly jewelry, sustainable jewelry, eco-friendly rings, sustainable rings, Pattie Maes, 3D printing, MIT Media Lab, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

“Point and click” could soon take on a whole new meaning with the “EyeRing,” a novel finger-worn interface designed to help the visually impaired better navigate their environment. A work in progress by Roy Shilkrot and Suranga Nanayakkara at MIT Media Lab, the Bluetooth-connected device serves as a “virtual cane,” one that not only detects obstacles in its wearer’s path but also reads signs, identifies currency, and perceives color. The EyeRing can be adapted for other non-seeing applications, as well, such as helping children learn to read or assisting tourists in a new city.

EYE SEE YOU

Cranked out through the magic of three-dimensional printing, the EyeRing features a built-in camera and microprocessor that relays information to a smartphone. To begin using, simply double-click a button on the side and speak a command to define its function, whether it’s reading price tags or text or distinguishing colors. Point the device at whatever you’d like more information about—an item of clothing at a store, say—and click the same button once to snap a picture. The photo is directed to your phone, where an app uses computer-vision algorithms to crunch the image. You’ll then hear the results over an earpiece—”blue,” for instance or “$19.99.”

The 3D-printed EyeRing features a built-in camera and microprocessor that relays information to a smartphone.

“Not having to get your phone out of your pocket or purse and open it is a big advantage, we think,” Pattie Maes, a professor overseeing the project, told Technology Review. While the researchers still have kinks to work out, they believe the EyeRing could eventually retail for less than $100, perhaps even as cheaply as $50. “We want to keep working on this and make it better,” Shilkrot said. “Right now, we’re in the stage where we’re trying to prove it’s a viable solution.”

+ EyeRing

+ MIT Media Lab

[Via Technology Review]

Related Posts

One Response to “Camera-Equipped “EyeRing” Helps Visually Impaired Identify Objects”

  1. adriana says:

    i would like to know how to get the eyering? if not in the market yet, could I participate in the resarch. I´m 17 and totally blind. Thank you.
    Sofia

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments.

Add your comments

NEW USER

Sign me up for weekly Ecouterre updates

Let's make sure you're a real person:

CURRENT USERS LOGIN

Lost your password?