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Medicine Biotech Science Technology

Bionic Eyeglasses May Boost Impaired Vision 43

fangmcgee writes with this excerpt from a University of Oxford news release: "Technology developed for mobile phones and computer gaming – such as video cameras, position detectors, face recognition and tracking software, and depth sensors – is now readily and cheaply available. So Oxford researchers have been looking at ways that this technology can be combined into a normal-looking pair of glasses to help those who might have just a small area of vision left, have cloudy or blurry vision, or can’t process detailed images. ... The glasses have video cameras mounted at the corners to capture what the wearer is looking at, while a display of tiny lights embedded in the see-through lenses of the glasses feed back extra information about objects, people or obstacles in view. In between, a smartphone-type computer running in your pocket recognizes objects in the video image or tracks where a person is, driving the lights in the display in real time. The extra information the glasses display about their surroundings should allow people to navigate round a room, pick out the most relevant things and locate objects placed nearby."
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Bionic Eyeglasses May Boost Impaired Vision

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  • Bah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Konster ( 252488 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @12:25AM (#36668898)

    No Steve Austin bionic eye sound, no dice. :(

    • *Looks @ broken glasses* We can Repair them... We have the technology, but.... we don't wanna spend alot of money.
  • What about shoes? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @12:25AM (#36668900) Homepage

    For the upskirt community, a wireless connection between the shoes and the screen in the glasses will be a godsend

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Roachie ( 2180772 )

      In my day we used to have to glue mirrors to our shoes, kids these days got it easy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by davester666 ( 731373 )

        Yeah, they have to tape a camera to their shoe instead. And tape over the red blinking light if they aren't a complete moron.

        • "Miss! dont move! be very still... there is a bee in your hair..." /click/ /wrrrr/

          "ok, its gone... whew! close call"

          Of course hanging out all day by a ladies room at the food court kinda sucks. And you better be sure the fucking flash is off.

    • And vision-impaired members of the upskirt community will finally be able differentiate genuine upskirts from men wearing kilts.

  • by Sooner Boomer ( 96864 ) <> on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @12:44AM (#36668992) Journal

    ...which are: 1) how do you get the signal from the cameras in the glasses to the processor and back to the display, and 2) how do you power them? It seems like you're going to need a fairly high bandwidth to carry visual information from the cameras and back up. Since these are glasses, you'll need to do this over a meter or more, and have to use an extremely flexible data pipe. Maybe some sort of flexure- or motion-powered charger could be used to top off the batteries. This (power) is the single greatest hurdle to overcome in the design of prosthetics.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah they have a great invention for solving this power transferral problem that you are rightfully discussing. It's called a conductor. Normally made out of copper, and for uses like this they even have highly flexible versions.

      I think people can live with a thin cord running down thier neck, it could even be disguised as those bands that make sure you don't lose your glasses (don't know their name in English, they're called "senile-strings" in Swedish).

      Other than that there are batteries like in the Oakle

    • by Anonymous Coward

      3) The tech is only good for 20 years. Right around the same time your power problem is solved, Apple's patent expires and the glasses will turn against their wearer and power down whenever near a movie theater, a TV screen, camera-shy celebrities, or anyone in government (especially cops).

    • USB. 4 x 28AWG can provide a generous helping of both power and bandwidth. You could even go to 30 or 32 AWG depending on the power requirements. I don't know how much a typical webcam uses but I expect it's not much; the LEDs are probably the heavier load. With a thin jacket this kind of cable is very flexible.

      If the LEDs are too much of a burden you can switch to 2 x 28AWG + a bundle of very fine fiber optics. Fibers are amazingly flexible and durable - more so than copper in my experience. Use one

    • 1) Radios. The newest versions of Bluetooth on the drawing board are supposed to run at 24 megabits a second. 2) Batteries, the same way glasses with wearable cameras work now. The added bulk of a portable generator to charge it and associated equipment would be awkward, for much the same reason your phone doesn't come with a hand dynamo. Or.. 1) Wires. It's no serious hardship to run a wire behind the ear from glasses to a small device. 2) See one. The power demands for this are vastly lower then those
    • all these problems and more have already been solved []. indeed, even the parallax problem is solved.

  • Things might've ended differently for Colin Blythe.

  • I'm very curious as to how they've managed to display information on conventional-looking glasses that the wearer is actually capable of focusing on. Every time a story like this has come up of some group that developed normal-appearing glasses with a display, it's turned out to be vapor or a useless concept mockup. Existing head-mounted displays all involve bulky prisms/mirrors that push the effective focal length of the image far enough out that the viewer can actually see it. If you simply make a transpa
    • I don't think they are feeding in an image as such. Just individual signals from LEDs in the glasses. It seems to be customised to the visual system of the user. The glasses might have signals set up with the LEDs which mean surface directly ahead or movement in peripheral vision.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Meh, it would be a better biotech to simply regenerate or clone the eyes. Creating cyborgs shouldn't be the goal.

  • by Reed Solomon ( 897367 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:33AM (#36669356) Homepage

    I refuse to buy one unless it looks like I'm wearing a hair accessory on my face.

    blind people have fashion standards to follow, you know.

  • Many years ago, they have developed a system where completely blind people can see outlines. A camera is interfaced with the brain to send it signals. From what I heard there was even a sub driver in new york city who had such an implant. The camera was hidden in a sunglasses lookalike device. Extending and working on that research would be much much more useful than branching to, well lets use AI to flash colored LEDs. YAY! Sounds like a common thesis for these days, not something actually useful. Mind y
  • Can't we have a rudimentary and decent version of glasses with such capabilities for ar already please?
  • for the Ixians, thanks.
  • Helping near-blind people see is all well and good, but, when will this technology be available to the average consumer? I want my heads-up display. Think about it, glasses that can overlay contact information on people you meet via facial recognition, price comparisons simple by looking at a barcode, IMs or emails scrolling across your vision. I want. I want now.
  • Honestly, this has been in development for decades. Prof Steve Mann and Prof Thad Starner are the ones that started this.

    Problem is everyone has been claiming that the VR glasses are "not that far off" for 20 years now. and they are no closer now than they were in 1998. we don't have light emitting optically transparent emitters that can emulate a focal distance so the eye does not have to focus on them. the closest was a set of glasses that THad Starner made with a small Prism in them that would refl

  • This far into the postings, and yet, no one has said it.
    I'll believe it when I see it.

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