The Potential for Hololens/Augmented Reality to Help the Legally Blind

So I was reading an article about a demo for the Hololens a couple months ago and it got me thinking about the impact this technology could have on the lives of the visually impaired. While the Hololens and AR headsets of its kind are still several years off I thought it would be a good idea to write about the potential AR headsets have to impact the lives of the visually impaired.

If Microsoft or one of the major AR companies chose to they could easily re-purpose this technology to zoom in (if it’s a good enough camera), making it easy for those with who are legally blind to read, and navigate the world again, making it a affordable alternative to esight which has a lofty price tag of $6,000. Right now the Hololens developer kit 2 costs around $3,000 but seeing as it’s still a developer kit the price will likely go down before the consumer version of the product hits shelves. 

Microsoft also owns this app called Seeing AI that uses your phones camera and an AI to help those who are blind navigate the world. They could, in theory, add the app or some version of it to the Hololens. Having an AI guide someone who is visually impaired through what are basically smartphone glasses could be a game changer for assistive technology. 

Of course this is all just speculation, but one can’t help but see that the potential is there and a lot of this technology sounds plausible within the next decade. Thanks for reading, if there’s an idea for AR that you think should’ve been mentioned, feel free to comment below.

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