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Mobility CES 2018

Samsung Gear VR smartglasses help visually impaired see the world more clearly

Relúmĭno-part of Samsung's C-Lab-will be showcased at CES alongside a directional speaker and breath recovery solution.

CES 2018: The products and companies to watch
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Relúmĭno glasses use the Samsung Gear VR system to help low vision users better see objects and scenes around them.
  • The glasses can also perform color inversion and color filtering, and offer a partial vision mode.

Samsung Electronics' Relúmĭno glasses use the Gear VR system to help visually impaired users more clearly see the world around them. Unveiled in a Tuesday press release, Samsung will formally introduce the technology at the upcoming 2018 CES in Las Vegas.

Being that the glasses rely on less-expensive Gear VR hardware and a mobile app, Relúmĭno could make visual aids more accessible to visually impaired users. In doing so, it could make activities like watching TV and reading much easier as well.

According to World Health Organization data, 86% of visually impaired persons (217 million people) have low vision, while the remaining 14% (36 million) are considered blind. People with low vision can determine differences between light and dark, but often struggle with fine details.

SEE: Virtual and augmented reality policy (Tech Pro Research)

The Relúmĭno app is specifically targeted toward those with low vision. According to a Samsung video, the system features four distinct modes for improving vision: Regular Mode, Color Invert Mode, Partial Vision Mode, and Display Color Filter Mode.

According to the video, Regular Mode simply makes blurry images more clear by highlighting the outlines of the objects in an image. Low vision individuals often struggle with reading text from a distance, so the Color Invert Mode helps alleviate that by displaying text in a higher contrast colorway. The Partial Vision Mode helps to correct for central vision loss or tunnel vision, and the Display Color Filter Mode works like a pair of sunglasses to reduce glare caused by a particular color, the video stated.

The Samsung researchers that developed Relúmĭno said in the video that their initial tests saw an improvement in visual acuity for users. The researchers are now working on a standalone pair of glasses that utilize the same technology without the Gear VR form factor.

Relúmĭno is part of Samsung's C-Lab (Creative Lab) program. Alongside Relúmĭno, the C-Lab team will also show off its S-Ray (Sound-Ray) directional speaker and GoBreath breathing recovery solution at CES, alongside a host of startups that have been spun off of the C-Lab, the release said.

"Since launching five years ago, our C-Lab program has gained exciting momentum across Samsung, helping foster an innovation culture, and providing avenue for our creative, talented employees to pursue innovative new projects. We will continuously introduce innovative projects through our C-Lab program," Jaiil Lee, vice president and head of the Creativity & Innovation Center at Samsung Electronics, said in the release.

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Image: Relumino
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