ORCam and Smart Glasses for Hearing and Vision Impairments

Smart Glasses are not just an innovative piece of technology that can provide people with alerts and notifications. Smart Glasses can be used for many more things than just entertainment purposes. Smart Glasses can be used to improve the lives of people who are living with disabilities. While smart glasses are still a relatively new thing, many companies are jumping onboard and seeing how they adapt the technology to help make life a tad bit easier for those who live with a disability like impaired vision and impaired hearing.

One company, OrCam Technologies, has developed a camera that attaches to your Glasses and is called OrCam. The camera is able to analyze/see text on almost anything, and is able to read the text aloud. While wearing OrCam users simply have to point at what they want to be read, and the device will read it aloud. Not only that, but the gadget can also interpret color.


OrCam Technologies is also working on adding a lot more to OrCam in the future. Future plans include the addition of facial recognition and the ability to recognize places. Awesomesauce!

I can’t imagine what is like to be blind or visually impaired, but I can imagine a device like this being able to make many people’s lives easier. With that said, OrCam isn’t the only thing out there that is aiming to improve lives.

Besides OrCam, there are also several people who are trying to change Google Glass™  into something that can help people with disabilities. There have been several indiegogos by people who are looking for funding (and have gotten funding) so that they can buy it and modify Google Glass. Not only has there been people who are modifying the device, but there have also been a few developers who are working on apps for the device to help people.

While I haven’t managed to find any apps that can do what OrCam does, I have come across several applications that can help the hearing impaired. Right now, there are two applications that are able to analyze speech (picked up through the Google Glass microphone) and are able to convert it to text. One app is called WatchMeTalk and the second app is called SubtleGlass – WatchMeTalk seems to get updated more often.

Developers aren’t just focusing on hearing and vision impairments. I have seen another project on IndieGogo that is focusing on developing an app that would allow people to control their wheelchair with eye movement. That’s all I’ve seen online, but I’m sure there are developers working on plans outside of the public view. And, I’m sure once there is a finished GDK and once Google Glass is more popular, there will be a lot more development surrounded around different disabilities.

It’s amazing to see how a technology like Google Glass and other smart glasses are being used for other purposes besides entertaining the masses. We are still in the early stages of this technology too and haven’t even begun to dig too deep. It’s only been a year or two since smart glasses have really become interesting to the population, and people are already coming up with some pretty amazing things. Who knows what we will see coming out this technology in a few more years.

What other things besides vision and hearing impairments can Google Glass help with? If you’re a developer, are you working on anything similar to the above? Do you see Google Glass or other smart glasses becoming the next hearing aid or bionic eye? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section down below! Every person who leaves a comment gets a free virtual hug!

Glass is a trademark of Google Inc.