Smart glasses

What are RNIB Smart glasses?

RNIB Smart glasses help wearers to identify shapes, determine distance, and are able to detect objects up to three metres away.

Our smart glasses have:

  • a transparent display - lenses appear clear to others and allow eyes to be seen.
  • two cameras at the front of the glasses which mimic the location of your eyes to determine distance (stereoscopic vision).
  • the ability to be adjusted to suit different eye conditions.
  • night vision - smart glasses work both during day and night!

Their development

RNIB Smart glasses are the brainchild of Dr Stephen Hicks of Oxford University, and have been in development with RNIB for over three years. Earlier this year we won the Google Impact Challenge, receiving a much needed funding boost and recognition for the project.

The project's main aim is to develop a commercially viable product that is affordable, practical and intuitive - retailing for less than £300.

Awards and recognition

The RNIB Smart glasses project has a huge potential to change the lives of many visually impaired people, allowing greater independence in everyday situations. It has been recently recognised for this social impact by the Nominet Trust 100.

A news spot on ITV was aired on 17th December 2014 including a short discussion about the smart glasses as part of our inclusion in the Nominet Trust 100 Innovations of 2014. Watch the news spot on YouTube.

Our trials

Over the next 13 months there will be three lots of trials running. These will take place in April, August and December 2015.

There will be different requirements for each trial, which will be based on factors such as:

  • Eye condition
  • Age
  • Location
  • Willingness to trial at home
  • Willingness to trial in a controlled environment

We're not currently screening for any trials at the moment, but if you're interested in taking part please email with your details.

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