Samsung launches AR app to help visually impaired see better

Relúmĭno Visual Aid Application for the Visually Impaired
Image credit: Samsung

Samsung Electronics has announced the launch of “Relúmĭno”, a visual aid application for its Gear VR to enhance the vision of visually impaired people.

The application processes images from videos projected through the rear camera of a smartphone and makes the images visually-impaired-friendly. More specifically, its major features include magnifying and minimizing image; highlighting the image outline; adjusting color contrast and brightness; reversing color; and screen color filtering.

Relúmĭno Visual Aid Application for the Visually Impaired

The end effect, says Samsung, is that Relúmĭno – which is Latin for “light up again” – enables visually challenged people to see images clearer when they are reading a book or viewing an object.

For those suffering from a blind spot in vision or tunnel vision (the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision), Relúmĭno can help by remapping unseen images to place in visible parts of the eye. Specifically, when users set the sizes of a blind spot or tunnel vision for the first use, the application automatically places the blind point in the visible surrounding parts and puts images within the “tunnel” or visible range, helping users who have a visual field defect to see things better.

Samsung cautions that Relúmĭno does not provide support for the totally blind.

Users with newer models of Galaxy smartphones, including the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8 and S8+ will be able to download Relúmĭno for free in the Oculus Store with support for both English and Korean.

Relúmĭno is a project from Samsung’s in-house incubator program, C-Lab, and was first designed to help visually impaired people enjoy daily activities such as watching TV and reading books.

Samsung launches AR app to help visually impaired see better

While most C-Lab projects are completed within a year, Relúmĭno will continue to carry out follow-up tasks, such as developing glasses-like products so that visually impaired people can use visual aids inconspicuously in their daily life. Meanwhile, the team will also collect user feedback to improve the app.

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