Over the past decade, it seems that everything has become smart. From lightbulbs to refrigerators, to even glasses, everything is getting smarter. In some cases, the benefits have been obvious, such as being able to control lightbulbs without having to go to a particular place in the room or having special wiring. However, some items being smart have mostly been gimmicky, like glasses. That is until now - as Lighthouse Tech has a new take on the tech, making it a truly useful addition for many users.
Lighthouse Tech is a company making smart glasses for a new demographic - those with visual impairment. In general, smart glasses have included pretty pedestrian features, such as Bluetooth speakers or cameras. On the other hand, we've seen products like Google Glass, which were both ahead of their time and surprisingly useless.
Lighthouse Tech has thrown out all of those ideas and totally changed directions. These glasses are not intended to make you look techy. Instead, the glasses themselves look entirely like normal glasses. These glasses, however, are designed to help improve the safety of wearers with visual impairments by giving alerts and information about hazards that other safety measures generally miss.
In particular, the glasses are intended to find items outside of the range of a walking stick. This includes, but is not limited to, low hanging tree branches, street signs, store signs, and more. Specifically, the glasses look for things that are hanging or physically separated from the base to which they are attached.
The Lighthouse Tech glasses are designed to protect the safety of their wearer. This is done using front-facing sensors. These sensors are able to detect obstacles within the path of the wearer, as well as the distance between the glasses and the obstacle.
The glasses are able to provide feedback to the wearer through vibration. This is an important detail because, if the glasses are to be used on the sidewalk on a bust street, audible feedback, including beeps and speech, would be difficult to hear. In addition, audible feedback would make the glasses more obvious for their intention, possibly making the wearer more self-conscious about wearing them. The design of the glasses, which are traditional and low profile, are intended to go the other way. Thus, audible feedback would undermine the concept.
To improve feedback, the company also offers a small, connected bracelet. This allows the wearer to move the feedback from the temples to the wrist. For many, the wrist is a more sensitive area of the body and can help improve the awareness of the safety alerts.
The Lighthouse Tech glasses are currently in active development. The company is searching for beta testers to give the tech a try and give feedback. Once beta testing has completed, the company will finalize the device and bring it to market. To learn more about the company and the product, or to sign up to be a beta tester, head over to the company's website.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
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