Telstra and b2cloud reveal Google Glass projects for vision and hearing impaired

Applications aimed at enabling greater independence for users

Telstra is working with developer, b2cloud, to address vision and hearing impairment through assistive applications for Google Glass.

The companies have been collaborating for the past six months with the goal of understanding ways in which to help impaired persons gain greater independence in both work and home environments.

The ‘vision impaired’ app, as b2cloud brands it, utilises a system of audio descriptions to explain objects in front of the user using image recognition technology from Silicon Valley’s Tap Tap See.

The technology requires the wearer to place both hands on an object, and command the wearable by saying, “Okay Glass, what’s this?” after which Google Glass takes a photo, and the app processes the image before providing an audio description.

The technology recognises when the wearer has both hands on an object, and activates with the voice prompt, “Okay Glass, what’s this?”

The ‘hearing impaired’ app transcribes speech for those who are deaf or hard of hearing to allow for smoother conversation. It does so by using either content from a typist transcribing, or from direct voice recognition input.

“Telstra is taking a smart approach by experimenting with the technology early, building prototypes and getting them in the hands of a select target user group for real world testing,” b2cloud managing director, Josh Guest, said.

“When Google Glass is made more widely available, Telstra will already have a strong understanding of the capabilities of this technology.

B2cloud has been working with Google Glass since 2013. It projects revenue from emerging technologies to grow from 10 per cent of its business to 30 per cent within 12 months.

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