The ubiquitous use of a simple gesture such as finger pointing is taken a step forward by the latest technological development of an MIT research team. Learning more about the surrounding world by only lifting a finger can be the next breakthrough in the digital-human interaction field.
The technology in question uses a 3D printed ring that holds a micro camera capable of taking a photo or a video when it is pointed to an object. This is sent to a smartphone which analyses the digital information and provides an almost real-time audio feedback about the object in focus.
The gadget called EyeRing was initially conceived as a potential aid for the visually impaired, however the number of applications far exceed its original purpose. EyeRing could potentially be used in navigation or as a translation aid, as it can also record sound or it can even help children to read. With a little bit more programming work it could analyse sound and transform it in digital visual representations on the smartphone’s screen for the hearing impaired, helping them “see” and recognise the surrounding sounds.
Although the app can interpret only currency, numbers, text and colours for now, the MIT team is working on depth and video with the aim of making EyeRing a commercial product. The technology is currently working only on Android and Mac devices but an iPhone version is also in development.
EyeRing will need to pass through several stages of development and maybe even a few user versions before becoming a commercial success as it has to deal with the inherited challenges of this wearable technology category: processing power, battery life, size and design that will make people want to wear it for an extended period of time.
With no information about the price EyeRing will be marketed to the general public, we can only assume that for this to be successful it will need to be under £100 mark.
Would you buy an EyeRing? How much money would you pay for a fully-working EyeRing capable of doing all the things presented above?