A Japanese company is developing a pair of smart glasses to help the visually impaired to read the written text more easily. The smart glasses called Oton are Glasses Convert Text To Sound using two cameras and an earpiece, both fitted to the frame of the glasses.
Half of the lens is a mirror reflecting the wearer’s eyes back to the first camera, which tracks eye movement. The camera can detect blinking while the other one is used to capture text. The wearers used the smart glasses by staring at the text they can’t read and blinking in order to trigger the glasses.
A Rasberry Pi is used as the glasses’ computer and the text captured by the glasses is sent to Raspberry Pi cloud system which converts the text into audio and the audio is played through the earpiece. In the case that the text is not identified by the computer, it is sent to a remote worker who can decipher it.
The Oton Glass is a little like Google Translate but you don’t have to pull out your phone and swipe over the text. This makes Oton glass much easier to use. Keisuke Shimakage, the lead designer, started working on the glasses in 2012 to aid his father who had developed dyslexia. His father eventually recovered but he continued developing the glasses to help others suffering from the disorder.
The Oton Glass is a Campfire (Japanese version of Kickstarter) project and you can get a pair of glasses for around $47. Smart glasses have not been a success in the past but that has been due to the fact that the developers wanted to include literally everything in the glasses and this led to steep prices. The Oton Glass is simple to use and comes at a much lower price and should be a huge convenience for people who have trouble reading the text around them.