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Good news for visually impaired! This startup can bring your vision back

FE Online

Back in 2010, UK-based innovation expert Rakesh Sharma along with his team at Oxford University started exploring how the brain manages visual information. His research continued for the following six years before he started to transform the knowledge gathered into real life products through his startup OxSight to help visually impaired people get their vision back.

The combination of neuroscience, ophthalmology, computer vision and machine learning led Sharma and his team towards their two smart glasses launched last year called OxSight Crystal and Prism to help “to enhance the remaining sight for people with peripheral vision loss,” the company said in a statement earlier.

Roshan is now expanding the company’s base to set up a 100 per cent Indian subsidiary to make the two glasses for which trials have already been underway since last two years through tie-ups with various eye hospitals and clinics, PTI reported.

“In the first phase, we have appointed a distributor in India, who will import the devices and sell it directly to our customers who have already gone through the product trials,” Roshan said at a company’s event in London earlier this week.

The company will get more distributors in its second phase while working with the Indian manufacturer, run the research and development centre, and operate customer care centre in various languages,” Roshan added. OxSight has so far eight product testing centres in India.

The two glasses controlled through a hand-held console, according to OxSight, have a camera fitted on the side of one of its arms that streams live feed into two high-resolution video displays, placed in front of wearer’s ‘useable’ vision. This has the potential to increase the wearer’s field of view to 68 degrees horizontally.

The glasses have features including image magnification and enhancement, glare protection, optional shade, light blockage from above, beneath and sides etc.

World Health Organisation estimated around 285 million visually impaired people worldwide out of which 39 million were blind and rest had a severe or moderate visual impairment, as per 2017 data.

Importantly, around 90 per cent of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries. In India, there are 40 million visually impaired people and 8 million blind, according to a 2017 report by UK-based global NGO Sightsavers.