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Blind

Medical

Add-ons let iPhones perform anterior and retinal eye exams

Visual impairment and blindness is an extremely widespread issue that affects an estimated 285 million people across the globe, with nine of out of 10 cases occurring in developing regions. oDocs Eye Care is hoping to put a dent in those numbers, producing low-cost, portable eye examination accessories designed to harness the power of the iPhone.Read More

Good Thinking

Smartglasses help the visually-impaired to use smartphones

Smartphone users with limited vision will often utilize the phone's zoom feature, making one section of the phone's display larger and thus easier to see. The problem is, it can be difficult to keep track of which part of the overall display they're zoomed-in on. That's why researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have developed a Google Glass-based alternative.Read More

Medical

Lab-grown eye tissue restores rabbits' vision

In what marks important progress toward a future where defective vision could be treated with lab-grown eyeball components, an international team of scientists has used human stem cells to build layers of eye tissue that was then implanted into rabbits to restore vision. With promising early results, the researchers say their findings could usher in trials where such transplantations are put to the test in humans.Read More

Wearables

Toyota's guide collar for the blind and visually impaired

Autonomous vehicles promise to make it much easier for the blind and visually impaired to get around by car, but Toyota is looking to extend the advantages provided by the technology to when they get out of the car. The automaker is developing a wearable device that can take in the user's surroundings and relay information to them via audio and vibration cues.Read More

3D Printing

3D-printed braille maps to show students the way

Finding your way around an unfamiliar building can be tricky for anyone, but its far more difficult for people with visual impairments. A pair of researchers at Rutgers University School of Engineering came up with a way of improving the situation for students at a training center for the blind and visually impaired in New Brunswick by 3D-printing detailed braille maps of the facility.Read More

Wearables

Proximity Hat presses users' heads to guide them

We've already seen a number of systems designed to alert blind users to objects in their path, and most of those systems use cues such as audio tones or vibrations. A scientist at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, however, has taken another approach. Florian Braun's "Proximity Hat" applies pressure to the wearer's head, in the direction of the obstacle.Read More

Medical

Gene-editing tool may prevent blindness

A team of researchers is working to turn the powerful CRISPR gene-editing tool towards treating a serious eye disease. Early results are promising, with the team successfully correcting the mutation that causes the condition in cells outside the body.Read More

Pets

High-tech harness lets the blind check on their guide dogs

Humans communicate primarily in a verbal manner, while dogs rely more on visual cues. While this can make communication between the two species challenging at the best of times, it's particularly difficult when the human is unable to see the dog – as is the case with blind people and their guide dogs. As a result, it may not always be possible for owners to know when their guide dogs are stressed. An experimental new harness, however, may be able to help.Read More

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