Focus on Technology
2:50 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Excitement over seeing eye glasses & other tech for the blind

Technology is leveling the playing field for the blind. A British researcher, Stephen Hicks of the University of Oxford, has invented a pair of glasses that act like a movie screen.

This BBC video shows how the glasses will work.

Hicks won a major scientific prize for his project. He plans to use the $80,000 to fast track it. Clovernook Technology Specialist Larry Klug is intrigued. "This gentleman is getting really close to helping address a lot of individuals who have severe vision impairments." Klug was born with nystagmus and began driving at age 42 with the help of what he calls, "low-tech" glasses, bioptic glasses and a GPS.

In the office and at home he uses his smartphone and tablet's dictation functions to help read and write.

Mike Walsh is Vice President of Program Services at Clovernook. He calls technology the great equalizer, pointing out that the blind are at a huge disadvantage otherwise. “They’re very often in schools segregated or made to feel different from their sighted peers, but with technology they can really level that playing field a great deal.”

Clovernook even has a technology camp for kids in the summer. Many of them know how to use a program called Tap Tap See. It takes a picture of something and tells the user what it is. In this case, water.  Walsh and Klug are keeping an open mind as they attend technology conferences.

In the meantime, there is another study underway. This one is in Israel.