EyeRing: a point-and-speak camera for the visually impaired

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Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

Cameras have so much potential to make things easier for the visually impaired.

(Screenshot by CBSi)

The EyeRing is a nifty finger-worn camera that was jointly designed by researchers at MIT and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Using a voice command, users can tell the EyeRing to identify a colour, currency, text or photo. Then they can point it at an object, and it will perform the computational wizardry to tell them the results from the object in question.

In a paper by the EyeRing's creators (PDF), the tool is described as a finger-worn device made with a 3D printer that consists of an embedded camera. It works in conjunction with a mobile phone as the computational device, and an earpiece that the user wears. A single button on the finger-worn device initiates the interaction between the camera and the mobile phone via Bluetooth. The phone then processes the information and sends it to the headset.

The EyeRing is still being developed, but other applications include a virtual walking cane, which lets the device work as a navigational tool by approximating the free space in front of the wearer.

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