Category : GENERAL
By OTON GLASS Inc. (Japan)
OTON GLASS is a set of smart glasses designed to help dyslexic people to read words. The camera captures pictures of words that a user wants to read and reads out the words for the user via the earpiece.
I was determined to develop OTON GLASS because of my own father’s experiences with dyslexia. In 2012, my father had a brain tumor, and developed dyslexia after his operation –this was the catalyst for OTON GLASS. Fortunately, he recovered fully after rehabilitation. However, many people have congenital dyslexia regardless of their symptoms. First, I interviewed my father and observed his behavior and identified problems. During the concept development phase, I did idea sketching and video prototyping. I formed a team of engineers and product designers who invented an active prototype. I saw the necessity to develop OTON GLASS after receiving feedback from my father and 5 other dyslexic people.
We developed a prototype using CAD and 3D printer. OTON GLASS utilizes Raspberry Pi (RPi) as its computer. The RPi processes these images by OCR and detects the words in the images. The artificial voice technology changes words to sounds, which the user can then understand it’s meaning. This OTON GLASS prototype is constantly being updated.
I get a really strong Fab vibe from this entry as the device addresses a social issue and the community was involved in its development as an open design project. However, despite the fact that the hardware was developed using an open design alongside Fab, we have come to the end of its embryotic phase (where it is no longer in an experimental phase through an open platform), and so I think we may have reached a point where we should earnestly evaluate its results and value. And an important factor is whether or not the open design can not only boost the number of users as awareness of the technology grows, but also whether or not the technology can be further developed with some added value from engineers sympathetic to the cause. We hope that the open design lends itself to future applications and advancements of this project.
All my admiration to the creators of OTON GLASS. Besides your product’s evident social impact, it depicts the way designers identify problems of everyday life and use them as the drivers of the creative process. This project shows how the creation of new products should be centered around human problems and new technologies serve as the vehicles to bring solutions to life. Great use of tech resources available. Best of luck bringing this product to the marketplace and thank you for inspiring the next generation of product designers.
OTON GLASS is a very impressive project. There are many applications and situations where people need to translate and read correctly. I am pretty sure they will find more things to do that they didn't think of at first. The device miniaturization is already great for a second prototype and it is getting closer to being a real product. I was not expecting such high quality in this kind of project before the challenge. Please continue developing this project!
We like OTON GLASS because it solves physical problems with integrated technology in such an easy way. We foresee diverse applications for different users. Brovos!
In my opinion, besides returning the focus to material and craftsmanship, maker movement is also about sharing findings with each other and serving the community. I admire the inspiring entrepreneurs behind OTON GLASS for adopting a rigorous and opaque human centered design process to serve minority in need. Their documentation shown an iterative approach to design problem with generations of prototypes and user testings. I love the aha moment in the testing footage! Despite a few tiny mistakes in the video, the brilliant multi-user scenario made me a believer. This is an elegant and well documented project that inspired me to continue to fab for a better world.
By capturing text and transforming this visual information to sound, these glasses not only dramatically help people who have reading challenges (for instances those with dyslexia who have trouble processing text, or for those who do not know the language, or have pore eyesight), but the glasses are also marvelous in terms of promoting barrier-free environments as they serve to boost awareness of these challenges. Even though it will take some time before we see these glasses on the shelves, it will likely dramatically transform users’ lifestyles when they finally become commercially available. I really liked how the glasses were developed by a number of engineers and product designers who also took on board users’ feedback in a wide array of aspects such as technology, usability, and design. It is also commendable that the inspiration for this works came from the creator’s own father’s experience with dyslexia, which were then shared widely through various social platforms. Incidentally, the product name “OTON” comes from the Kansai dialect of Japanese and means father. I get a strong sense of the creator’s spirit and affection for his father.