We’ve seen some early-stage advances for ways that might help restore sight to people with low vision (or no vision), but it will take many more years before the clinical trials and safety approvals are complete. And not everyone will want to undergo an eye surgery to try to regain some vision, either. Fortunately, robots and wearable technology continue to improve, and these gadgets could become very useful for the blind (and the rest of us, too). Maybe we won’t just see telecommuting iPads for remote workers — but also robot assistants for casual and everyday uses, as well.
- Can robots become better than guide dogs at helping the blind? Given that some of the most advanced robots still have trouble navigating the world by themselves, robots helping the blind might not happen for a long time — but progress will undoubtedly be welcome by both the sighted and the blind. [url]
- A wearable device could help blind users by providing tactile or audio feedback based on sensors embedded in a ring. A “smart ring” could have cameras and haptic feedback to allow a user to point it at something and have it read text or recognize objects…. But maybe a smart watch app might be a better way to start this kind of assistive tool? [url]
- Tactile Navigation Tools is a company founded by a visually-impaired doctor, making a sensor-equipped vest and “smart cane” to help the blind. The vest and cane can work together to help a user identify dangerous obstacles — and could also be useful for fire-fighting or military personnel to navigate in low-visibility environments. [url]
After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.