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Undergraduate YPEC 2020

UG30 – Vesper-Smart Glasses for the Visually Impaired

According to The Lancet, there are around 250 million visually impaired people globally, with 36 million people suffering blindness. Most of them solely rely on the cane, which is insufficient for their needs. A more holistic feedback system is crucial for them to handle all sorts of daily challenges.

Vesper, the multifunctional Bluetooth glasses, is the game changer. Two cameras, sitting on both temples, are responsible for performing Optical Character Recognition and object detection respectively.

Through OCR, Vesper converts text-containing images into machine-encoded text. The object detection system captures the depth and motion of objects ahead. To complement the system, deploying deep learning further allows Vesper to identify the objects. The device, as a whole, reconstructs a comprehensive 3D ‘vision’ for the users. Verbal cues are then conveyed via bone conduction, guiding and assisting the users while leaving the ears free to stay aware of the ambient sound.

Wearing Vesper, users can listen to music and voice navigation as if using headphones. What’s more, thanks to OCR and object detection, the visually impaired could travel around safely and independently, even manage to ‘read’ the menu on their own.

With Vesper, the next biggest challenge will be struggling where to explore.

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