Camera-toting EyeRing could help blind people to “see” objects
Generally speaking, the vast majority of augmented reality applications that enhance the world around us by overlaying digital content on images displayed on smartphone, tablet or computer screens are aimed squarely at the sighted user. A team from the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT’s Media Lab has developed a chunky finger-worn device called EyeRing that translates images of objects captured through a camera lens into aural feedback to aid the blind.
The EyeRing system was created by Suranga Nanayakkara (who currently directs the Augmented Senses Research Group at Singapore University of Technology and Design), PhD student Roy Shilkrot and associate professor and founder of the Fluid Interfaces Group, Pattie Maes. It features a 3D-printed ABS nylon outer housing containing a small VGA camera unit, a 16 MHz AVR processor, a Bluetooth radio module and a 3.7V Li-ion battery. There’s also a mini-USB port for charging the battery and reprogramming the unit, a power on/off switch and a thumb-activated button for confirming commands.