Google’s smart contact lenses could aid the visually impaired

In today's accessible technology roundup: Google wants to embed cameras in contact lenses, Apple gets a patent for a new GUI for touch devices to improve accessibility and a hacker develops a virtual cane for the blind

Drawing taken from Google's patent application showing the contact lenses with embedded camerasImage credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office
From Google's patent application titled "Image Capture Component on Active Contact Lens"

In last week’s accessible tech news roundup, I wrote about how Google Glass is showing promise as a tool to aid people with Parkinson’s. Now comes news that Google has applied for a U.S. patent for contact lenses with embedded cameras. The lenses could, in theory, help the visually impaired by detecting and identifying nearby objects and people and inform the user through a connected device such as a smartphone. [via Patent Bolt]

Here are some other recent news items and information about the development of accessible technology:

  • Apple was recently awarded a patent on a new GUI for touch devices (e.g., touch screen, trackpads) that would improve accessibility for the visually impaired. [via Cult of Mac]

  • Samsung recently came out with three accessibility-related accessories for its Galaxy Core Advance phone: a stand for automating the process of scanning and reading back documents, a cover to detect nearby objects using ultrasound and alert the user and small NFC tags that can be used to provider reminders or warnings about nearby objects. [via TechCrunch]

  • Roman Kozak has developed a new virtual cane for the blind to aid with navigation, using Arduino technology, a 3D-printed cylinder and an ultrasonic sensor. The cane also connects to an Android phone via Bluetooth. [via Hack A Day]

  • Wondering why HTML requires alt tags on images but WCAG 2.0 does not? Steve Faulkner of the Paciello Group wrote a short piece last week explaining why they differ; be sure to scroll down to the comments for additional info.

  • EASI is offering a free webinar this Thursday, April 24th, at 2pm ET explaining the importance of color accessibility.

Was there other news or interesting information from the world of accessible technology that I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

What’s wrong? The new clean desk test
View Comments
You Might Like
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies