If we mimic the features of a guide dog, can we transform everyday life for people who are blind?
Today, there are 40 million blind individuals in the world. The number is projected to grow to 100 million by 2050. While there are technological solutions for reading, communication, and using smart devices, there are only two solutions for mobility and they’re both thousands of years old: the guide dog and the white cane.
Guide dogs are universally seen as a great solution. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks. Namely, training one costs between $30,000 to $60,000 USD and it can be a big responsibility for a blind person to provide care for such a companion.
Simply put: the guide dog is not a scalable solution. Because of this, there are only 28,000 guide dogs to 40 million individuals with visual disabilities.
.lumen offers a solution that mimics the benefits of a guide dog without the drawbacks that make it a non-scalable solution.
Using autonomous driving and robotics technologies, scaled down to a wearable product, the .lumen glasses can help the user locate objects, navigate to them and live a more independent life.
If you ask a guide dog to take you to an empty chair, to the door or to a particular place, they will guide you by pulling your hand. You can give the .lumen system the same voice commands and the glasses will do the same – not by pulling your hand, but by "pulling your head." The glasses use a proprietary feedback mechanism that uses audio and haptic feedback to guide the user.
Using the .lumen glasses, people who are blind will be able to navigate to known or new places, understand their surrounding environment and enhance their independence.
.lumen is a Social Impact startup, aligned with the UN's SDGs Goal 8, 10, 4, and 11. It is our belief that better mobility and accessibility result in better education, employment, and social life for people who are blind
To this point, .lumen has been using Solidworks as its main mechanical design and simulation tool. As the company grows and the products get closer to production, a more collaborative approach must be taken. Therefore, the adoption of the 3DEXPERIENCE cloud platform is not only necessary but paramount, to aid the intense growing process of the company.
.lumen was founded by Cornel Amariei, a renowned Romanian inventor, speaker and entrepreneur. Cornel was born in a family where his parents and sister lived with disabilities, severely limiting their mobility. Growing up in such an environment allowed Cornel to understand how vital assistive technology can be and inspired his work.
The mission to empower the blind transformed into a startup at the beginning of 2020 and today it gathers over 40 engineers, professors, disability experts, designers and scientists. The team is recognized globally for achievements such as The Red Dot: Luminary Award – the highest level of recognition for Industrial Design.
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