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Eyesynth: Using technology to help blind people see

Eyesynth is an SME hosted in CEEI Castellon, EU|BIC, that has developed an audio-visual system consisting of a glasses embedded with a pair of cameras that are able to accurately reconstruct a 3D scene and codify it into abstract and easy to understand audio for the blind.

Technology is considered to be the driving force behind improvements in healthcare. Thanks to technological progress, patients around the world receive better and more accessible treatment, and previously untreatable terminal illnesses are treated with a much greater success and can be even prevented.

The Challenge

However, although today’s technology has helped people globally, it has not been too successful in helping to large part of the population- there are almost 300million blind and visually impaired people around the world, that still need to rely mainly on cane and service dogs without modern technological solutions.

Their story

The Eyesynth idea was born in February 2014. Two friends, Antonio and Amador, chatted over a cup of coffee about the incredible power of the technology while at the same time its limits when helping blind and visually impaired people around the world. (Amador’s son, Ferran, is blind). This conversation stayed deeply ingrained in Antonio’s mind leading to “eureka moment” few months later- combining 3D and VR technology to create an image-audio translator in full 3D,  creating an abstract language for the visually impaired and helping them better understand their surroundings, shapes, and even depth. Together with the team of 15 people among them engineers, designers, investors and collaborators, Antonio  worked on refining the software and designing of the hardware, constantly improving it by user testing, from which one Ferran was the first user to test it, and was amazed by the possibility to better understand his surroundings. After 2 years of hard work, the project has got the support of Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument.

Eyesynth's team

The solution

How is Eyesynth helping blind people see?

The glasses send images to the micro-computer which processes them in real time, so the user gets instant feedback. The environment is captured and processed in full 3D. This means they have information about depth too. Then, the computer converts all that information into a series of sounds that interpret open spaces, shapes and obstacles.

The sound is abstract, there is no verbal language involved.

After a brief training, the brain automates the information processing, so the rest of your attention is free to run: conversations, walking, working or whatever you want.

The CEEI Castellón has been working alongside the entrepreneurs of Castellón for 19 years, stimulating local resources to stimulate and favor the creation and growth of innovative companies, and promote innovation as a strategic factor, with the aim of contributing to the competitiveness of companies from the province. It is a support organization for entrepreneurs and SMEs to promote the economic and social development of the province of Castellón from a key element: innovation.

 

Associated member: CEEI Castellon
Published on 01-04-2017 00:00 by Lana Blagojevic. 870 page views

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