Many people suffer from visual impairment, which takes different forms and can be of various degree. Some may have difficulties reading small printed characters. Others cannot see objects far away. The visual impairment generally falls into four classifications: mild vision loss, moderate low vision, severely low vision, and legal blindness. According to a report from the WHO, 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, from which 246 million have low vision.
Vision is the major sense for human to perceive and understand the world. Although many people are suffering from the visual impairment, it is not easy to treat it. Many factors cause the visual impairment, including physical damage, disease infection, genetic inheritance, among others. There are also different types of the visual impairment that requires different treatments. In addition, cost and user acceptance should be considered. Generally speaking, medical treatment is effective at comparable high cost and risk, while accessory aid is inexpensive but inconvenience and inflexible. Although no universal treatment exists for all cases, the emergence of wearable devices and AR technology may have the capability to improve existing treatments.
As a continuation of our previous project, we will further explore augmented reality and wearable technology for visually impaired. We will not limit ourselves to software system but we may also embrace the opportunity to design our own low cost wearable devices for visually impaired users.
The applicants are expected to have good programming skill and knowledgable in computer vision. We also welcome students with both software and hardware knowledge for exploring the wearable device design.
The applicants will learn the following skills from the project:
1. Android programming
2. Computer vision and machine learning
3. Project management