The head-mounted components of the Wearable Low Vision Aid. Shown are the camera with a ring of IR LEDs (left) and the head mounted display (right).
Credit: Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington.
Student-designed device helps the visually impaired avoid hazards, day and night
Using a common laptop computer and a sophisticated head-mounted projection device, students at the University of Washington (UW) have created a system to help people with poor vision navigate around stationary objects.
The Wearable Low Vision Aid (WLVA) is the first portable device to draw attention to obstacles using an illuminated, vibrating crystal that projects a warning icon-a raster image much like a television’s-onto the user’s retina. The system was built entirely by graduate and undergraduate students over the past four years under the direction of Eric Seibel, research assistant professor for mechanical engineering at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at UW. The team will unveil the latest prototype on May 27, at the Annual Society for Information Display Conference in Seattle, Wash.
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