Low Vision

Microsoft has been developing a ‘smart headband’ to aid people who are blind in ‘seeing’ the world around them. The Microsoft device helps those with low vision or who are blind through audio instructions about their surroundings delivered to an ear piece.

The device is still in the early stages of development and remains a research project for now. However, it is being tested by a group of eight people who are blind in the area of Microsoft’s UK headquarters in Reading. Reportedly, testing has occurred around the busy Reading train station, helping the group navigate staircases, escalators platforms and ticket barriers.

This concept video created in 2012 gives and idea of what using the devise may be like.

A new smartphone app that will tell people with vision disabilities when to cross the street, which direction they’re going, and how many lanes the street is wide. The app can also announce the name of the street in any direction, tell users when to cross and how much time they have. The app is being developed by researchers and students at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Myoung-Woon is leading a research team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology that has developed a new method of producing touchable objects with detailed lines and curves. The revolutionary new method combines 3D printing with 3D thermal reflow treatment and can be used to produce braille books, braille picture books and teaching materials with far greater flexibility in color, height, and size. Further, it is safe for humans as it does not require a UV coating or harmful chemical treatments.

The 2015 Access Awards honor individuals, corporation and organizations who substantially reduce inequities faced by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Today they are calling for nominations.

A nominee should be someone who illustrates an exceptional and innovative effort responsible for improving the lives of people who are blind or have low vision by improving access to information, the environment, technology, education or employment. This may include making mainstream products and services Accessible. It should be an effort that has national or international impact or is able to serve as a model for replication on a national or international level.

The Access Awards will be presented on April 10, 2015 at the AFB Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

A team at the University of Colorado Boulder printed the first 3D version of the children’s classic Goodnight Moon. Now children with vision disabilities can touch objects in the story as it is read allowed to them. Sever other books have been slated to be printed using the same technique by CU-Boulder computer science Assistant Professor Tom Yeah. Among the books on deck are “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Read more about 3D Picture Books

People who are blind will soon be able to learn Braille with Smart Gloves that have vibrating motors at the knuckle of each finger. When one of the motors vibrates it indicates the key that should be pressed. Audio feedback announces the letter being typed.

Researchers at Georgia Tech in the US created the gloves and found that those who received passive haptic training using the gloves were much more adept than those who didn’t as they made 30 percent fewer errors.

People who are blind will soon be able to learn Braille with Smart Gloves that have vibrating motors at the knuckle of each finger. When one of the motors vibrates it indicates the key that should be pressed. Audio feedback announces the letter being typed.

Researchers at Georgia Tech in the US created the gloves and found that those who received passive haptic training using the gloves were much more adept than those who didn’t as they made 30 percent fewer errors.

Verizon has partnered with Visus Technology to introduce advanced accessibility tools that promise a higher level of independence for the blind. They are developing Velansense, which is a mobile application suite that utilizes the Verizon 4G LTE network and advanced camera on smartphones to deliver real-time feedback to users who are blind. It will be capable of providing feedback about people, objects and surroundings. It can recognize text, colors, currency, barcodes, and familiar faces.

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