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Visually Impaired Gospel: Japanese Companies Have Developed Glasses That Convert Text To Audio

Mar 30, 2018

The smart glasses developed by the Japanese company Oton Glass, the biggest selling point of this kind of glasses is the ability to convert text into audio, which is the gospel for the visually impaired.

Visually impaired people either don't see the words at all or they struggle to see them, so they always use braille tools to recognize the fonts with their fingers. This is inconvenient, but there is no other way.


But the appearance of this kind of glasses will relieve their hands so that they can “hear the book”. The glasses have two cameras and a headset on the frame that can help convert text to audio.


Oton Glass has a special mirror that reflects the wearer's eyes on the first lens. This lens can track half-eyeball movements such as blinking.


The second shot captures the text. The person wearing glasses stares at unreadable text and blinks to trigger the glasses.


This kind of spectacles uses the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is a miniature computer designed for learning computer programming education. It doesn't look like its appearance is "petite", but its "heart" is very powerful. Video, audio and other functions are common. It can be said that "the sparrow is small and fully-equipped."


The captured text is sent to the Raspberry Pi's cloud computing system, which processes the text and converts it to audio played through headphones.


However, the Raspberry Pi is not all-powerful. When some words are not recognized, they are passed on to remote workers to help them.


In fact, the glasses are similar to Google Translate, except that the latter requires the user to take out the phone and scan the text. By contrast, Oton Glass is easier to use.


Keisuke Shimakage, chief designer of Oton Glass, started researching eyeglasses in 2012 and started from helping his father to treat dyslexia. Later, his father recovered. He is still continuing this business and wants to help more people with vision impairments.