Virtual reality (VR) and related immersive technologies have already delivered significant benefits in the medical field. One area that is currently being investigated for research and development is ways in which VR and AR technology can help blind or partially sighted people. IrisVision is one of the companies involved in developing this technology, and two of its executives have spoken on the technology and VR in general.
IrisVision have created a system which uses the Samsung Gear VR to capture a scene using the smartphone built-in camera, then enhance it to allow partially-sighted people to see the area more clearly.
CEO of IrisVision Ammad Khan and Chief Scientist and Inventor Frank Werblin spoke to MedGadget about the company and the impact of VR technology. Khan spoke first of the impetus around the creation of the technology, saying: “Today’s standard low vision aid is a CCTV (closed circuit television) device with a mouse-like scanner that magnifies text for reading. These are stationary devices that can only be used in a fixed location, such as at a desk. As you might expect, we’ve found that low vision individuals yearn to see clearly in all aspects of life — not just reading, and not just in one spot. That’s why what we’re doing at IrisVision is so important – we’re helping people with low vision regain the ability to see everywhere life takes them.”
Asked about how the system gives users control of how they perceive the world, Khan said: “Our system allows users to adjust or tune their IrisVision device to accommodate changes in their visual world. Changes to brightness, contrast, magnification, field of view and other settings can be made easily using the device’s built-in controller. With IrisVision, our users are able to venture into the world and see things they haven’t seen clearly for decades.”
Speaking of the feedback received from users of the system, Khan said: “We’ve had lots of people with low vision try IrisVision, and the positive feedback and stories they’ve shared with us have been absolutely inspiring.”
Further news from the VR and AR industry will continue to be right here on VRFocus.