The Barcelona company Biel Glasses has presented at CES 2023, in collaboration with Panasonicnail glasses endowed with augmented realitycon artificial intelligence y roboticswhat increase vision of people with visual disability. They would avoid the need to depend on another person, or on a guide dog.
The story of Biel Glasses is the story of the doctor Constanza Lucero and the engineer Jaume Puig, whose son Biel was born with reduced vision. After trying all the existing solutions to improve Biel’s independence, with frustrating results, they decided to found the startup Biel Glasseswith the aim of creating glasses to improve visionwith the help of technology.
Biel Glasses has been working since 2017 on different models of glasses for people with visual disability. At the recent CES 2023 fair, it has presented its most advanced version, which it has developed in collaboration with Panasonic.
AI glasses to replace guide dogs
In Europe there are 7 million people who need a guide dog to be able to move independently, according to the CEO of Biel Glasses, Jaume Puig, in Business Insider. But barely 140 dogs are delivered a year and they are very expensive, over 30,000 euros, because it takes years to train them. And not everyone has a house where they can live.
Many of these people are not blind, they have a partial vision that does not allow them to fend for themselves, but they are apt to use augmented reality glasses that improve that vision.
“The worst consequence of having reduced vision are mobility problems, which cause falls, accidents, and, in the end, isolation and dependency. For this reason, we have created glasses that combine artificial intelligence and robotics to interpret the reality of the scene and be able to detect any type of risk”, explains Puig:
Biel Glasses has used the virtual and augmented reality glasses Panasonic’s MeganeX, which the Japanese company will put on sale this spring.
These glasses have pancake lenses, which reduce the size of the visor and consume less. They have a 5K resolution joining the two lenses (2,560 × 2,560 pixels for each eye), with HDR.
They have their own processor, the Snapdragon XR1 used by the Quest 1. The original Panasonic model integrates a DisplayPort port to use them as PC glasses. They do not have controls, but existing ones can be used if necessary.
Biel Glasses has modified them to adapt them to the needs of people with visual disability.
As Business Insider explains, these glasses help people with loss of peripheral visionknown to most of us as tunnel visionwhich affects people with glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and other diseases.
The cameras and sensors of the Biel Glasses employ artificial intelligence in real time for detect obstacles, steps and holes. The glasses transmit these messages to the wearer via the built-in microOLED screens. The user receives visual prompts, highlighted objects, and other alarms with the help of augmented reality. Also sound messages.
Biel Glasses’ glasses fit the specific needs of each personwith the help of an optometrist.
In this way the user could take advantage of the auto zoomlos illuminated warningsthe contrast enhancement o alteration of lightingdepending on your problem, to enhance vision and to be able to walk down the street no need for a guide dogor to carry out daily tasks without help.
We don’t know the price yet, but they won’t be cheap. The Panasonic MeganeX will cost around 2,000 euros when they go on sale in the spring, and to this we must add Panasonic’s own technology Biel Glasses to adapt the glasses to people with visual disability. But they will be much more affordable and easier to get than a guide dogwhich can cost 30,000 euros.
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