.lumen Glasses Use Haptic Cues to Guide the Visually-Impaired to Any Location
Guide dogs can help visually-impaired individuals get around city streets and other public places, making it easier to find their way without having another person by their side. Problem is, effective guide dogs need to have the proper temperament and will need to go through plenty of training to actually be helpful companions, making them difficult to scale compared to the number of blind people in the world. The .lumen Glasses, basically, puts those guide dog skills in a wearable device.
No, it’s not a robot dog (or a robot battle dog). Instead, it’s a headset that wears around the forehead and directs the user towards avoiding any obstacles and hazards, giving the visually-impaired an effective way to get around without a dog or human companion leading the way. No need to wait for the availability of a guide dog or deal with the maintenance that comes with them – just put the gadget on and use its computer vision to lead you where you need to go.
The .lumen Glasses consists of a headset that’s not unlike the VR wearables people use today. Except, it’s meant to go across the forehead, instead of over the eyes, so people can see your face the entire time. Why the forehead? Apparently, it uses haptic feedback and auditory cues to lead the user around, so the forehead makes perfect sense for giving directional hints with its wide patch of skin and proximity to the ears. In its current form, the device should be compatible with around 80 percent of adult heads.
According to the outfit, it uses similar sensors to those employed for self-driving cars, albeit in a scaled-down manner that’s more suited for wearing on the head. We’re guessing it’s LiDARs and cameras and all sorts of other sensor tech, which would make sense since it needs to identify what’s in front of a person in real-time. The system, which combines the sensors with onboard processors and AI algorithms, supposedly makes computations at a rate of 100 times per second, so it’s constantly updated in real-time, ensuring individuals wearing it can make their way even in crowded streets with plenty of people walking through.
The .lumen Glasses should also be smarter than a guide dog, since you can ask it to guide you to specific places that a guide dog may not be trained for, making it all that much more useful as far as mobility is concerned. It’s, basically, a wearable computer purpose-built for the visually-impaired, which means it can do a lot more than guide you from one place to another. In fact, the website shows a clip where an individual is using it to read text on a product’s packaging while shopping, as well as another user relying on the device to tell it where and when to catch a ball during play. Suffice to say, all the onboard sensors can be put to use in a lot more ways than merely directing an individual around.
The .lumen Glasses are scheduled to be shown at the floor of CES 2024 in the outfit’s booth at Venetian Expo, Hall G. No pricing is listed yet, but its slated for availability in the second half of the year.