Start-up algorithms enhance peripheral vision
December 11, 2018
Start-up OxSight is using image interpretation technology and algorithms to enhance the remaining sight for people with peripheral vision in its Crystal glasses.
Like the existing OxSight Prism glasses, the Crystal spectacles have been approved as medical devices, and are available through eye health clinicians across the UK.
Peripheral vision loss, commonly known as tunnel vision, can be caused by conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, myopic degeneration, retinopathy of prematurity and other degenerative eye diseases. Peripheral vision loss can make simple activities such as talking to friends and family, reading text and street signs, and identifying obstacles very difficult.
“We are thrilled to be launching our second product less than three years after OxSight was founded,” said Rakesh Roshan, CEO of the UK start-up. “The new Crystal smart glasses provide our users with greater flexibility and comfort, while still providing the life-changing vision enhancements of our Prism device. We have had an overwhelming reaction from our community of users and look forward to making the Crystal glasses available more widely.”
The Crystal glasses were developed following consultation with the visually impaired community and have been designed to support day-to-day use and long-term wear. The glasses can increase users’ horizontal field of vision to up to 68 degrees, and have a micro-OLED video display to provide a rich colour experience. They are claimed to be the lightest low vision glasses on the market, and allow users with lower light sensitivity to add or remove the shade depending on the specific light conditions.
The glasses’ video mode has been developed to expand users’ field of vision without causing motion sickness. A lack of peripheral awareness often causes visually impaired people to lose confidence about their ability to navigate outdoors, in the office or even at home. Crystal allows for unrestricted peripheral awareness.
Other features include increasing users’ awareness of their surroundings by providing a clearer view of obstacles, and improving mobility by enhancing the edges of objects and doorways. The glasses also allow for easier social interaction by facilitating eye contact and displaying high contrast images to allow users to identify their friends and family more easily. The dedicated text mode helps users read printed text, handwriting and street signs, and a heightened colour display lets users see signs, choose clothes, select food and identify money.
OxSight has developed a range of low vision glasses for people with sight loss. The company was founded in 2016 by a team whose research into how the brain manages visual information began at Oxford University. OxSight has since established partnerships from both the sight impaired and technology communities including, Google, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Guide Dogs Association, University of Oxford, NIHR i4i and Royal Academy of Engineering.
The Prism smart glasses were launched earlier this year, and OxSight is in the process of developing clinical partnerships with a number of opticians across Europe. At present, OxSight is providing trials, fitting and clinical support at its clinics in London, Oxford and Manchester through several clinical partners.
Funding support for OxSight devices is available through the government’s Access to Work scheme, as well as through a 0% finance plan.