At the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies in Guadalajara, Mexico, researchers have developed special lenses for the blind.
The idea is to turn traditional glasses into a navigation device to allow users to freely move from a specific point while avoiding both static and moving obstacles. It uses ultrasound technology, sound sensors, GPS and an artificial voice to guide the user.
Similar “smart” glasses have already been developed, but what sets this Mexican-made device apart is their use of ultrasound technology to detect translucent objects.
Researcher Alfonso Rojas Dominguez explained:“The “Smart Guide” project is trying to develop intelligent glasses to help visually-impaired people in their everyday lives; recognising documents, recognising tickets, colours, and also to help them with their mobility, recognising obstacles, directions to get to their destination via GPS, ultrasonic sensors and via a pair of cameras that process images through the lenses.”
Bouncing ultrasonic waves off surrounding objects, the technology can also read different colours and writing on objects and surfaces.
The aim is to sell the device at a retail price between 800 and 1,200 euros.