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What is it?
Eyesynth is an audiovisual system for the blind. It consists of a pair of glasses connected to a micro computer. The system records the surrounding environment in 3 dimensions. Then, the collected data is converted into understandable audio for the blind.
There are 3 fundamental features in Eyesynth:
1.- It works in full 3D. The user not only can identify shapes and spaces: Is able to measure the depth and locate objects accurately.
2.- The sound is abstract, no words used. Very easy to learn. It's a new language that the brain can automate.
3.- Cochlear audio. The sound is transmitted through the head bones, so the ears are free to listen. The ear fatigue is avoided.
How it works?
The glasses send images to the micro-computer which processes them in real time, so the user gets instant feedback. The environment is captured and processed in full 3D. This means we have information about depth too. Then, the computer converts all that information into a series of sounds that interpret open spaces, shapes and obstacles.
The sound is abstract, there is no verbal language involved. After a brief training, the brain automates the information processing, so the rest of your attention is free to run: Conversations, walking, working or whatever you want.
The glasses can work in 2 modes:
1.- Tracking Mode: The glasses only capture the central, front view. The user has to sweep left and right, in a similar way when using a cane.
2.- Panoramic Mode. The glasses capture the whole scene, and distributes the audio in the stereo field. The user gets a full panorama in stereo audio.
One important aspect is how can we feed the audio without disturbing the hearing. Imagine... eight hours a day with a headphone inside your ears. Not confortable. Not hygienic. Too isolated. Too bad.
Our approach is quite different. Cochlear audio. A couple of soft rubber cushions that touches your head. The sound is transmitted through your head bones, leaving your ears open. Good for conversations, traffic and avoiding hearing stress.
- Frame: ABS, Zamak
- Lenses: f1.8, FOV 76º
- 2 High performance low-light sensors (60 fps)
- Integrated piezoelectric Bone Conducting Audio System.
- Dual Core ARM processor
- High performance FPGA chip
- Battery: 5000+ mAh
- Running time :8+ hours
- Operation modes: Tracking / Full panoramic
- Selectable viewing range: 6m, 2m, 0.7m.
- Audio signals for battery level
The levels are:
How will we use the money for?
Although the technology and the prototypes are ready, there are a few things to do:
- Miniaturization: Now the computer is 12x12x3cm. We're aiming for a much lighter and smaller one. Question of money, as usual.
- Conform designs to mass-production: Premium engineering never is cheap
- Manufacturing backer's units + quality control. Simple terms, lots of money and work involved.
Depending on the success of the campaign:
- Travel expenses for visiting numerous Blind Associations and collectives. Live demos and tutorials.
- Manufacture a batch for charity organizations
- Dec 2015: Miniaturization process design.
- Jan 2016 - Mar 2016: Design for mass production
- April - May 2016: Manufacturing. First units deployment. TShirts and Powerbanks shipment.
- Jun 2016 - Deployment compleition
Eyesynth is built by a team of seasoned people. Designers, Engineers, Business people, Testers. All of them passionate, bold and of course with a healthy dose of madness. Experienced professionals, we're always pushing the limits, and finding ways to avoid potential problems.
And of course, always looking for new, interesting people who can add value to our journey.
The Neurological Research
Eyesynth is a very easy to use system. Intuitive. Testers are really quick getting used to identify the surrounding space.
This speed has caught the attention of the reputed Neurologist Dr. Antonio Belenguer, who promoted a scientific study about neuroplasticity and Eyesynth: Using the system, new neuronal connections between the hearing zone of the brain and the visual cortex are made. So the study intends to demonstrate that using Eyesynth, the brain enhances the connections between the hearing and the sight zones, getting richier visual information through hearing.
Dr. Belenguer is leading the project, with the support of Eresa Foundation.
We'd like to thank Dr. Belenguer for his work, attitude and support. Having scientific support is absolutely fundamental for us.
Here is a increasing list of Supporters. They are a profound help to evolve Eyesynth and reach the people. They are not endorsers, there is not commercial agreement or economic benefit by supporting us.
We are proud and thankful to get support from:
Risks and challenges
Our first law: Being transparent with our process and challenges: Good and bad news will raise. The most basic thing we have to do is honest with our backers.
Similar to many Kickstarter projects, we face several risks and challenges. Some are under our control: Testing testing and refine it again. Others, not: Supply chain, logistics and manufacturing potential issues.
Of course, we guarantee that we will put all our efforts to preemptively avoid potential problems. The same energy and time will be used to deal with any issue.
Primary risks for us include:
To achieve the level of simplicity in user experience that we aspire to, we have to finalize design and engineering of a complex system. We have taken two key steps to ensure our engineering success. 1) We have formed an amazing, experienced team of engineers and designers, and 2) we have tested our prototypes extensively. For the manufacturing engineering, we have delegated on a well reputed manufacturing plant in the UK, provider of numerous medical hardware manufacturers. They complies the ISO13485 certification. We rely on a very seasoned company, manufacturing in Europe. It’s near to us, and assures premium quality. It’s critical for us.
SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS
Many Kickstarter campaigns encounter problems when taking their prototypes to production, often stemming from issues finding suppliers and engineering products for mass-production. Smooth execution is essential to overcoming supply chain and logistics risks. Enough capital is also critical. We take this lesson seriously and have been working for months negotiating with suppliers, testing component quality, and building a team that can execute on our plan.
AVAILABILITY OF COMPONENTS
Sometimes it takes longer for electronics components to arrive than expected. This is due to the availability on the component provider side. We use standard components with a long life cycle to overcome this obstacle.
TIME DELAY WITH MANUFACTURING
We try to work with only the best manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, however they also work with a number of other interesting projects and companies. Inevitably there are delays in the production process for one reason or another but we have done our best to make sure we have provided and accurate timeline for delivery of your Eyesynth glasses!
IMPORTANT: In no case we will sacrifice quality or design features for time deadlines. Backers happiness and satisfaction is the only option. Our timelines are designed to be accomplished, we’ll push it hard to meet the timelines. In any case, our backers will be fully informed.
Finding the right people is a challenge for any endeavour. Success in such a complex and multi-disciplinary field requires a team of talented, passionate, and motivated designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and testers. We have formed a talented, passionate, fun team, but we will have to recruit more specialists to realize our vision. We're excited about that as we believe our team is our strongest asset. And of course you, our backers! Thanks very much!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)