Researchers Develop Camera for Visually Impaired
A team of scientists at MIT has developed a camera that allows the sight-impaired to take and see photos. The recent demonstration of the device comes two decades after Elizabeth Goldring, a senior fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, and colleagues began work on a "seeing machine."
The results have evolved from Goldring's initial inspiration, a large diagnostic device costing some $100,000, to a $4,000 desktop version, to the current seeing machine, which is portable and inexpensive. "We can make one for under $500," Goldring said.
Although the device can be connected to any visual source, such as a video camera or desktop computer, Goldring, who is completely blind in one eye, especially enjoys using it with a photo camera. "When someone has a diminished sense, the inability to express yourself with that sense can be frustrating," she said. By taking photos, "I feel I'm able to express myself visually with my blind eye, and there's value in that, I think."
Plans are underway to test the device at the Low Vision Clinic at the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Eye Institute in Boston.