MIT researchers aim to turn fiction into fact with the help of augmented reality
It is common practice in science-fiction for technology to be seen as a cure for various disabilities. While writers in the genre regularly exaggerate the capabilities of technology and science, augmented reality may be turning science-fiction into fact. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new device called the EyeRing that makes use of augmented reality to assist the visually impaired. The EyeRing is capable of turning visual data into auditory information, allowing the blind and visually impaired to perceive the world in a new way.
EyeRing turns visual information into auditory feedback
The EyeRing is mounted on a finger and is equipped with a small camera. When the camera takes a picture of something, this information is translated into auditory feedback through the use of an augmented reality system. Though augmented reality as a term is often considered in its implications for visual imagery, the technology is more accurately depicted as a way to change how people experience the physical world by enhancing it with digital content.
EyeRing could be used to help children learn
MIT researchers note that the EyeRing can help the visually impaired have a form of sight in the world. It can also be used as a navigation and translation aid for travelers in foreign countries. Researchers even suggest that the EyeRing system could be used to help educate children, as it would present them with a more dynamic way of learning. In its current form, the EyeRing can be configured to recognize text, colors, images, and price tags. The images that are collected through the system are then transmitted to a smart phone where an application turns this information into a digital voice.
Augmented reality continues to influence other industries
Augmented reality has become more advanced in recent years. The technology has begun to play a significant role in numerous industries, garnering acclaim because of its interactivity. Consumers have shown a great deal of interest in augmented reality applications, but may soon be exposed to new, more ambitious technologies that make use of augmented reality.