Let’s get voting again: Google Impact Challenge…

Vote for Royal National Institute of Blind People, the Division of Clinical Neurology and the Department of Engineering Science to win a grant of £500,000 for smart glasses that enable those with very limited vision to make use of what sight remains, increasing confidence and providing richer ways to navigate and communicate with people.

smart glassesA team comprising scientists from Royal National Institute of Blind People, the Division of Clinical Neurology and Engineering Science has been announced as a finalist in the 2014 Google Impact Challenge UK, which will award funding to 10 charitable projects using innovative technology to change the world.

The Department of Engineering Science is working in partnership the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the Division of Clinical Neurology at Oxford University. Over the next year Professor Philip Torr and his group, from the Department of Engineering Science, and Dr Stephen Hicks Division of Clinical Neurology will work to create a company that will help the sight of millions of people with sight defects using computer vision and augmented reality. The prototype has already enabled users to identify faces and obstacles more clearly than they have seen for years.

Be a part of this important project by voting for it in Google’s Impact Challenge and helping to secure a £500,000 grant.

After receiving hundreds of first stage applications, Google has shortlisted this project and nine other finalists, who will each receive a minimum of £200,000. However, four of the finalists will win a grant of £500,000 - and one of these will be chosen by public voting, which runs until 30 July. Please find a moment to vote for the RNIB project here: https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/uk2014  and spread the word as much as possible via social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook – there will be stiff competition to win the public vote!

The online competition site allows everyone to vote for up to four projects, and the results will be announced on the 31 July.

About the project

There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss that has a significant impact on their daily lives. Over 90% of these individuals have some remaining vision. The RNIB are developing smart glasses that enable those with very limited vision to make use of what sight remains, increasing confidence and providing richer ways to navigate and communicate with people. There are perhaps three hundred million who could be helped world-wide.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have carried out research into low-cost and non-invasive wearable technologies based on depth-cameras and see-through displays to enhance sight for obstacle avoidance, face recognition and object recognition.

The glasses work by capturing images of the world with a 3D camera. This information is used to separate out nearby shapes and objects and highlight them clearly on the inside of small transparent displays. The displays form part of the lenses of the glasses, allowing people to use their own vision as much as possible.

For more information visit: http://www.smart-specs.com/