'HoloLens' for the Blind

'HoloLens' for the Blind

Microsoft HoloLens is a pair of mixed reality smartglasses developed and manufactured by Microsoft. HoloLens gained popularity for being one of the first computers running the Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10 operating system. 

The HoloLens is a head-mounted display unit connected to an adjustable, inner headband. It can also tilt up and down, as well as forward and backward. It features an inertial measurement unit (IMU) (which includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a magnetometer) four "environment understanding" sensors (two on each side), an energy-efficient depth camera with a 120°×120° angle of view, a 2.4-megapixel photographic video camera, a four-microphone array, and an ambient light sensor.

HoloLens is pricey but a group of scientists found that it’s really good at an unanticipated application: helping blind people find their way through buildings and offering a better sense of where objects are around them.

The device's real-time room and object mapping capability are its key features. It also has speakers that can make audio seem to be coming from different points in three-dimensional space.

According to World Health Organization, an estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment: 36 million are blind and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. The researchers are improving the device since the potential market for such an application could be huge.

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