When we think of the smart glasses phenomenon, we think of bizarre contraptions that help us to do all manner of ridiculous thing. Play games via a floating hologram in the air? Check. Get directions that only you can see? Check. Help you actually improve your vision which is, essentially, the entire point of glasses? Not so much a check. It seems that the act of improving one’s vision hasn’t been high on the priority list for manufacturers of these unique gadgets. I mean, even the most ridiculous smart watch tells the time somewhere in its functionality. Well, that’s about to change. Introducing a pair of smart glasses that, well, do what glasses are supposed to do.
Dr. Stephen Hicks of the Nullfield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford has been working on a unique pair of smart glasses that are intended to improve people’s vision. We aren’t talking giving normal folks superhero vision. We are, however, talking about improving the lives of people with partial vision loss. Sure it’s not as exciting as Google Glass but, hey, it’ll change lives. Essentially, it augments vision by giving wearers a high contrast view of their surroundings. High contrast objects are easier to see and make out, thereby improving the wearer’s vision. Actually, now that I think about it, isn’t that what Geordi’s visor on Star Trek does?
This is only a working prototype for now, and a somewhat bulky one at that. In order to use the device you have to carry around a computer, for one. Dr. Hicks says the technology will shrink as the glasses go through more iterations, eventually ending up sheathed in a regular looking pair of eyeglasses. That’s pretty cool! Here is a video of the tech in action.