Envision glasses for Blind,Blind can Read Documents,Scan Faces,Aid Naviation

Smart glasses by Envision are based on the enterprise version of Google Glass. Google Glass.

If you're Mike May, blind, finding new places is a problem. Recently Mike May went to an event for work at a brewery. He was having difficulty figuring out the best way to get there.

Fortunately, he had the set glasses called the Envision glasses that he was wearing to employ artificial intelligence to assist visually impaired people in understanding their surroundings. With a tiny camera mounted on the side of the glasses, the glasses look up to people, objects, and text and transmit the information through the built-in speaker. The glasses can inform you when you're approaching a particular direction or show what's happening inside a room.

May used an option on his glasses called Ally that lets him initiate video calls with his family and friends to seek assistance.

"I called up one of my colleagues, Evelyn, and said, 'What do you see?' and she described the environment to me," said May, Chief Evangelist at accessible navigation firm Good maps. "She told me where the tables were and just gave me the lay of the land."

Envision Glasses are based on the enterprise version that comes with Google Glass. (Yes, Google Glass is still in existence.) Google introduced these glasses back in 2013 and then promoted them as a method to make calls, send text messages photos, take pictures and view maps, as well as other things, directly through the headset. However, they did not make it to the shelves after a quick and unreliable release.

In the following years, Google started working on an enterprise version of the glasses. This is the base Envision is built upon. The glasses' style of wearability makes them perfect for capturing and transmitting information the way a user perceives it.

"What Evasion Glasses essentially does is takes in all the visual information around, tries to process that information, and then speaks it out to the user," says Karthik Kannan, the co-founder of Envision.

Many other applications aredesigned to aid those with blindness or low vision; for example, Google's Lookout application can recognize food labels, locate objects in the room, and scan money and documents. The Be My Eyes app is another application that connects those who are visually or blind impaired with sighted volunteers who will help them navigate through the world via live chat.

However, the goal of Envision is to make these experiences more enjoyable. The headset's design frees the hands of people so that they can carry a cane or stroll with a dog. Additionally, the camera can be placed close to your eyes, so you don't need to reach for a phone to check your surroundings.

"It's narrating nonstop when you're walking down a busy street about signs on the side of a bus or a taxi or on the side of a building or on the ground," May states. "There's this whole stream of information."

Envision Glasses cost $3,500, and they are available to purchase from the company's website or through a distributor. You can also choose to utilize the Envision application that can scan text and inform you about the surroundings through the camera on your phone. It costs $20 for a year-long subscription and $99 for a lifetime subscription.

For the glasses to be used, it is necessary to launch the Envision app and connect the glasses through Bluetooth. After that, connect the glasses to Wi-Fi, and you're done. It's only necessary to complete this process once. Once you've done that, you won't have to carry around your phone to get the glasses working. To train Envision to recognize faces, let people take photos using the app and then type in their names. The glasses will announce that individual's name as they enter the frame.

The company aims to bring more applications to glasses, such as Aira, which is a service that connects users to trained personnel who can see what's happening around them via the camera of their phones. A connection with Envision could allow users to join Aira directly from their glasses instead. Envision is working with navigation apps to integrate their services into the glasses.

"Anyone who is in the assistive technology space and they're building apps, they can easily come onto the Envision glasses and build as well," Kannan adds.

May the tech enthusiast who says it is like "a kid in a candy store," say that he is awed by the freedom Envision provides.

"I do really like the feeling that a kid gets, which is, 'Aha, I did it myself.'"

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