Eyesynth-Smartglasses for the Blind by Alegre Design

February 6, 2018

Eyesynth-Smartglasses: The studio Alegre Design has created the exterior design of Eyesynth, the first glasses that allow blind people and those with limited sight to ‘feel the space’ through sounds and that make it possible to ‘see’ by hearing. These glasses use an algorithm to convert spatial and visual information into audio that can be understood by blind people.

Eyesynth is a Spanish company based in Castellón created with the aim of developing assistive technologies for people with any kind of sensorial disability. Eyesynth has taken part in the Consumer Electronics Shoe (CES) in Las Vegas, the world’s largest electronics and technology exhibition. Eyesynth uses 3D cameras and a software algorithm to transform spaces and objects into abstract sound that is transmitted via cochlear audio (through the bones of the head) to the brain, which is able to code the sound and interpret information regarding the size, shape and position of nearby objects (up to 6 meters).

Eyesynth is composed of special glasses with 3Dcameras and software that convert spatial and visual information into understandable audio for
blind people. These glasses make a 3D volumetric analysis of the scene and process the information, turning it into abstract sound, which provides nuances of position, size and shape. This audio signal is non-verbal, so it is a universal product in terms of language, which makes it immediately usable in any country. The method that is used to transmit the sound is not through regular headphones, but through cochlear headphones, transmitting the sound through the skull bone in a noninvasive way. This allows a clear ear canal, which improves the safety of the User, eliminating auditory fatigue and being much more hygienic for extended sessions.

Alegre Design is responsible for the exterior design of these glasses, which possess the highest optic qualities available, the technological device located on them and the computer which acts as data processor for the whole system. The glasses have been developed and tested by the company with the same name, based in Castellón and created with the aim of developing assistive technologies for people with sensorial disabilities. “This project was brought to us by Antonio Quesada, CEO of Eyesynth, and we found it very interesting, due to the satisfaction of being able to contribute to such a commendable task and, from the professional point of view, because it fits in with our philosophy of designing everyday objects that help people in their daily life”, explains the designer Marcelo Alegre.

Eyesynth is developed by the design segment of Alegre Design focused on technology which, under the name of iMagina, represents a new way of developing consumer electronics projects, integrating technology in everyday products, to make them more appealing. With the glasses’ mass production in mind, Alegre Design joined forces with a French company with a proven track record in the luxury glasses sector in Europe to create a product that, from the point of view of materials, combines injection moulded plastic, acetate and machined aluminium, providing dimensional and functional stability to the electronic device.

The frame itself, which uses acetate, allows the product range to be developed with new colours and finishes. “Eyesynth uses the highest standards with regard to technology and industrial processes and optic qualities”, comments Alegre. The information is processed by a microcomputer, which can be worn around the neck or attached to clothing. It is manufactured using soft thermoplastic materials that allow for an easy grasp and use. It also works as a tracker, with a panic button that the user can press if he or she perceives danger.

Eyesynth is one of the companies selected by the European Commission’s SME Horizon 2020 programme, which funds research and development projects. In the setting of this programme, Eyesynth participated from 9 to 12 January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the world’s largest consumer electronics and technology exhibition. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, some 75,000 people in Spain are blind whilst, worldwide, this figure reaches 39 million. Another 285 million people have significant visual impairment.

Antonio Quesada, as CEO of Eyesynth, his management responsibilities include building the best team possible, strategic planning and operations.Antonio is passionate about technology, and since childhood he has liked to experience technology from new angles. He has an established and diverse career, from the University of Oviedo (Multimedia Designer), TV (Graphic Designer and Editor), Art Director at graphic design studios and CTO at DEMbeta Company.

Project Title:  Eyesynth-Smartglasses for the Blind

Company:  Eyesynth (Spanish company)

Design studio:  Alegre Design ( created the exterior design of Eyesynth)

Designer:   Marcelo Alegre

Project Head:  Antonio Quesada (CEO of Eyesynth)

Collaborator:  DEMbeta (a company that develops 3D technologies, in

which Antonio Quesada is CTO and partner)

Research & Innovation Program funding:  European Union’s Horizon 2020

Technical specifications:

• Frame: Aluminium, Acetate, Plastic
• Ready for opaque or prescription lenses
• Camera lenses: High luminosity, FOV 76º
• High speed image sensors (60 fps)
• Integrated piezoelectric bone conduction audio system

• Processor: ARM Architecture
• High-performance FPGA chip
• Battery: 5500 mAh
• Continuous operation: Eight hours

• Operating modes: Seek mode / Full Panoramic
• Selectable viewing distances: 0.8m, 1.5m, 3m, 6m.
• Safety aids (location, alarms, video streaming)
• Guide Me: App-based guiding help
• New software functions in development.


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