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Vision-Enabling Spectacles

Man wearing a unique eye gadget
Professor Zeev Zalevsky

Israel can be justifiably proud of the progress they have made to create an accessible country for its citizens and visitors to enjoy. Over the years, many adapted products have also been created by Israelis which is an indication of the importance they place on discovering ways to improve the lives of people who live with disabilities.

For the sight-impaired, there is an exciting prospect looming. Israeli Professor Zeev Zalevsky and his research team have engineered a prototype that will significantly improve the lives of those who were born blind or are vision impaired to any extent. They have created a pair of spectacles which acts as the “eyes” of the wearer, allowing them to “see” using the tactile senses in the brain.

These unique spectacles are equipped with cameras which captures visual information. These images go through an array of micro loudspeakers, generating spatial pressure waves. When these waves get to the cornea, the visual received is translated by the brain’s tactile senses thereby creating a sensation which the wearer of the spectacles will then interpret.

The image seen by the camera bypasses the visual cortex of the sight-impaired wearer and instead, stimulates the tactile cortex, making a connection in the brain with the feeling that’s associated with that image. By that process, a sight-impaired person can relate to what is being seen, but to correctly make this association, they must be trained to translate the spatial tactile sensation with the correct visual information.