The persons interviewed by the researchers in order to develop this project, complained, among other things, about the bulky set up of other systems. The new prototype is smaller, which makes it more practical. It is composed of glasses with two micro-cameras, a plate the size of a pack of cigarettes with a battery, a small audio stereo amplifier, and headphones with bone conduction transmission. The quantity of information received at the scene depends on the cognitive profile selected. “Six profiles, ranging from one that is very simple, with a sound alarm that only works when one is going to crash into an obstacle, to others that describe the scene with 64 simultaneous sounds,” can be chosen, Pablo Revuelta pointed out.
In order to develop this project, interviews of experts in the areas of physical rehabilitation, visual impairments, and image and sight processing techniques and technologies were carried out. The transformation to sounds of the system was tested on 28 individuals, including sighted individuals, persons with limited vision and blind persons; and the final system was tested on eight blind persons in real environments. In general, it has real capabilities to describe the environment, although all the participants coincided that some touch ups were necessary, such as a reduction in the degree of error in the depth detector.
According to Pablo Revuelta, “the aim of the system is to complement a cane or a guide dog, and not in any way replace them”. In this vein, if the blind individual does not have hearing impairments, it could be used. The system is not yet in its commercialization phase, because at the moment, only one prototype has been built. One its main advantages is the price, which they calculate to be around 250 euros, and that is “very economical compared with other systems that are currently on the market,” according to the researchers. “It is our responsibility, and that of society as a whole, to guarantee the existence of this type of applied research lines if we wish to state without hesitation that we believe in the universal declaration of human rights and also put it into practice”, Revuelta concluded.