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Helping the blind with free smart glasses

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 01:26

Fund-raising has begun for what developers say will be the world's first free smart glasses to help the blind and visually impaired. Edward Baran reports.

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Fund-raising has begun for what developers say will be the world's first free smart glasses to help the blind and visually impaired. A vision of the future -- these could become the world's first free smart glasses, says the Polish non-profit organisation behind them. Parsee has developed this prototype of battery-powered glasses with a 3D printed frame, camera and earphone. SOUNDBITE (English) PARSEE PROJECT MANAGER, BARTOSZ TRZCINSKI, SAYING: "Parsee is an innovative 3D printed glasses for blind and visually impaired people. It helps them in their everyday living like reading newspapers, drinking juice." Pushing a button on the frame, users take pictures of an object in front of them, which the camera sends to a phone app. The app identifies shapes, colours, text and even faces -- and sends the detail via audio to the earphone. SOUNDBITE (Polish) TERESA LAPA, USER OF PROTOTYPE GLASSES, SAYING: "When I take something from the fridge what I see is blurred - this helps me to recognize the product and read what is written on it. It also helps me to recognize my friends' faces, because I have a problem with that." Parsee has begun fund-raising with a $25,000 goal to research and develop a sleeker model of the glasses. It's still in the early stages of its longer-term goal to mass produce and distribute the spectacles for free. The current cost of producing one pair is $300 -- a figure they aim to reduce over time.

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Helping the blind with free smart glasses

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 01:26