No one would have thought that we would see eyeglasses that can translate the written word but that is exactly what one Japanese tech company is attempting to do. There the project is listed on Campfire, Japan’s version of Kickstarter, calling for funding of literal reading glasses for those who may need extra help processing the written word such as dyslexic persons.
The Oton Glasses have two special cameras and a reflective mirror for half of one lens that tracks the wearers eye movement and blink patterns. The glasses are also equipped with an ear bud for the wearer to hear the finished audio translation. The visual words are sent to a Raspberry Pi storage system that takes the text, studies to for audio matches and sends the finished product to the earpiece. If the translation does not work for whatever reason, then there is a network representative that can help in the translation. The fundraiser for the Oton Glasses have raised approximately 12% of its 1,000,000,000 Yen. If the fundraiser amount is reached, then that would make the glasses about $47.00 per pair.
Even though the Oton Glasses was the third runner up for the 2016 James Dyson Award, i’m not sure about the exact logistics for these glasses. For example: what if someone is a rapid blinker? Or the glasses go on the fritz and it will not highlight the area the consumer needs. I’m not saying that this type of technology would never work, but this seems like it is a relatively untested technology with a few pitfalls. I would be willing to test this technology out when all the kinks have been worked out. Also, hopefully when this product is marketed, they offer replacement parts or a warranty service for the many small pieces attached to the glasses. I hope that this technology takes off as I’m sure there are many people who could benefit from both the eyeglasses and the price point. To read more about this new technology, please click here.