VA-ST's 'Smart Specs' AR Eyewear Helps the Blind with Navigation

By: Laura McQuarrie - Feb 3, 2016
References: va-st & technologyreview
VA-ST is a start-up that's developing AR eyewear technology in order to help people who are legally blind see the world better.

While most people seem to think that people who are classified as legally blind have no ability to see whatsoever, most people with impairments retain some of their vision. However, it can be a challenge to pick out people's faces and objects at times, especially during conditions of low light. In order to help those with vision impairments navigate the world a bit better, VA-ST developed the 'Smart Specs,' which use depth sensors, software and four colored modes to make a person's immediate surroundings clearer.

When worn, the world can be viewed in black, white, gray and a colored mode that outlines nearby people and objects. When obstacles are detected, the internal software is able to simplify their features, which makes it easier for someone with a vision impairment to get better bearings for navigation.