We often take for granted our ability to communicate with others in a common language, but more than 70 million people worldwide often struggle to enjoy basic interactions because of significant barriers to relying on sign language to communicate with others. Enter Voicee, a microphone-fitted set of glasses that displays captions to help deaf people know what other people are saying.
The glasses are equipped with a noise-canceling microphone in front and a Google Glass-like smart display on the inside of the lens. The glasses also have a touchpad for function control and are powered by a small battery. They come with thin clear lenses but can be fitted with prescription lenses if necessary. According to the designers, the eyewear has been designed together with the members of the deaf community to ensure that their needs are met.
The technology works by picking up what the other person is saying to the wearer and then displaying those words as near-real-time subtitles on the inside of one lens. The eyewear doesn’t require any other supporting devices and can be set to one of five languages available (for now). It weighs less than 100 grams (3.5 oz) and can run for more than 24 hours of use on one charge.
The eyewear is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, and so far has only been designed in functioning prototype form. Should you be interested — keeping in mind that they’re still not ready for the market just yet — a pledge of $540 will get you a pair if they reach production.
The concept of smart glasses to help communities in need might sound familiar. Back in March, we introduced you to Envision Glasses, a pair of smart glasses that uses AI to let blind wearers know what they’re looking at. We’re looking forward to more such innovations designed to promote inclusivity.