Development of 3D digital glasses for enhancing mobility of visually impaired people to open strategic product lines for participant SMEs
The standard of living of visually impaired people is significantly lower than the average. Even in the USA the employment rate of the visually impaired is about only 45 per cent. This ratio is under 40 per cent in UK, and is estimated to be fewer than 30 per cent in Eastern European countries. One of the most important objectives of experts and organisations working for increasing the standard of living of the visually impaired is to increase their mobility to make them able to reach more easily education, work places and social activities. The most significant eye diseases that cause serious vision loss are age-related macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Most prevalent symptoms of visual impairment are blurred vision, decreasing angle of vision, distortion of image, darkened area in the centre of the image, apparent fading of colours, cloudy vision, blind spots, etc. In a lot of cases these symptoms are combined.
The DigiGlasses project aims to help this group of visually impaired people by providing them with a glasses-like digital tool to convert the real view of the environment to a sharper, more focused picture by increasing contrast and using edge detection.
About five million people in the European Union are visually impaired to the point where eyeglasses are not sufficient to enable them to meet a large portion of their visual needs. That figure represents a clear transnational need for a permanent research and development in the field of low vision aids on a community level. Best practices and research results of medical and technical sciences are needed to contribute to the improvement of standard of living of the visually impaired.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 315127.
For more information, please visit the DigiGlasses website.