Smart Glasses To Convert Words Into Voice

Source: James Dyson Foundation
A Japanese company has developed AI powered smart glasses, OTON which convert a text into speech to help visually impaired or people having difficulty in reading. The glasses were under development since 2012.
Source: James Dyson Foundation
OTON Glass consists of two small cameras and an earpiece. The device captures the images of the text and reads out for the user via an earpiece.
Source: James Dyson Foundation
The company also shares its working as –
“OTON GLASS utilizes Raspberry Pi (RPi) as its computer. The glass’s sides have two cameras and an earphone, which connects to the RPi. The lens is half mirror and reflects the user’s eye and the inside camera tracks the eye movements. One camera detects blinks as a trigger while the other one captures words. The RPi processes these images by OCR and detects the words in the images. The artificial voice technology changes words to sounds, which the user can then understand it’s meaning. This OTON GLASS prototype is constantly being updated. The current OCR (including API) - designed by an outside academic group is capable of changing words to sound; however, the OCR cannot recognize every character. Therefore, we consider to make OTON GLASS sort the desired words to be read, and if the RPI can’t recognize them, it will send to a remote supporter that can decipher the words. In this update UX scenario, OTON GLASS realizes the scenario that the user desires.”
There is a video overviewing the OTON Glass.
Further, the company talks about its future plans as,
“Our goal is to give OTON GLASS to the people who are in need. We believe in developing prototypes with many people from different fields, and it will expand our community and get enough funds for the further R&D. Now, our team consists of Computer Vision and Machine Learning researcher, hardware engineer, product designer, and a 3D modeler. We will repeat developing prototypes and doing user tests in the short-term. This prototype will grow and become a “product”. When we complete and develop a prototype that the user can use, we will do cloud funding and extend this concept. Finally, we will design a service with NPOs and hospitals for the users can get it easily.”