Romanian start-up's AI glasses promising new levels of independence for the blind
Understanding the gravity of blindness which hinders independence in life, reveals that despite numerous aids designed for blind individuals, they are still significantly at risk. A traditional white cane cannot alert an approaching danger, and a guide dog is an expensive investment that has a shorter lifespan compared to humans. The Romanian start-up, .lumen, aims to change the lives of these individuals by developing revolutionary glasses for the blind.
Glasses with the potential to revolutionize lives of blind individuals
Approximately 40 million people worldwide were either blind from birth or lost their vision later in life. Despite their other senses being significantly heightened to compensate, these individuals' lives are persistently threatened by the world around them. Established in 2020, the Romanian company .lumen, founded by Cornel Amariei is possible due to his enthusiasm for robotics and automation. Intriguingly, he comes from a family with visually impaired members, and being the only fully sighted one, this drove him to invent an apparatus that could improve the quality and safety of others' lives.
Inspired by autonomous vehicles, his idea for the glasses has found immense traction in recent years. The glasses are said to "work a bit like a guide dog". The difference being that while a dog guides the owner by the hand, the glasses guide by the head. With the introduction of haptic technology, these glasses can guide a blind person and alert them to any potential nearby hazards.
Integration of Artificial Intelligence
The true innovation of these glasses lies in the implementation of artificial intelligence and classical algorithms, similar to those used in programming autonomous vehicles. This means that .lumen can accurately identify all objects that may obstruct your path. This includes objects of varying sizes that could potentially cause stumbling or discomfort.
While programming the glasses, a destination is set and the device independently constructs the most convenient route, guiding the user in a safe and comfortable manner. The gadget was unveiled at the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. Currently, it's still under testing but the developers expect it to be available to the general market by the middle of next year.