Stevie Wonder tries out Dutch aid for the blind and visually impaired

Photo: Envision Glasses
Photo: Envision Glasses

A Dutch invention to help the blind and visually impaired may have found a fan – and possible endorsement – in singer Stevie Wonder.

Envision glasses, invented by researchers from Delft University have an inbuilt camera which records the environment and reports in speech what it sees to the wearer, who can then locate objects or ‘read’ texts.

Most functions are based on turning text into speech but that is not all, Vanessa Vigar explained to NPO Radio. Other functions include colour selection and light detection, for example.

‘The glasses can also help people navigate a route via video calling. People on the other end of the line can see the images and give the wearer directions.’

Vigar said the glasses had been invented a couple of years ago and were presented recently at a fair in Los Angeles. ‘This is a fair where aids are showcased for all types of impairments. Stevie Wonder visits this fair every year. He had heard of our invention and sought us out.’

The team gave Wonder, who has been blind from birth, a pair to try out at home. The singer has promised to let them know what he thinks, Vigar said.

The glasses cost around €3,300.

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