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Realizing the Next Generation Visual Aid. Paul Mogan June 21, 2004. Some History. The first generation – LVES 1994 Developed by NASA and Johns Hopkins Headset weight: 2.5 LB, mostly forward Black & White image Quickly became uncomfortable Unsuitable for the elderly due to weight

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some history
Some History
  • The first generation – LVES 1994
    • Developed by NASA and Johns Hopkins
    • Headset weight: 2.5 LB, mostly forward
    • Black & White image
    • Quickly became uncomfortable
    • Unsuitable for the elderly due to weight
    • Totally obstructed field of view
some history3
Some History
  • Second Generation – JORDY 1.0 1999
    • Color Image
    • Lighter
    • Can act as CCTV on a stand
some history4
Some History
  • Third Generation – Jordy 2 2001
    • Color images
    • Weighs only 7 oz
    • Better low light performance
    • Better depth of field
    • Can easily be “looked around”” for orientation
why is next generation visual aid important
Why is Next Generation Visual Aid Important?
  • Millions of people in America have severe vision loss.
  • According to the Lighthouse National Survey on Vision Loss, in 2010 there will be an estimated 8.3 million Americans, ages 65 and over who have some type of visual impairment. This number is expected to grow quickly from 2010 to 2030 to a total of 14.8 million elderly Americans with a visual impairment, 7.7 million of which will have a severe impairment.
  • According to the National Advisory Eye Council, the economic impact of visual disorders and disabilities was approximately $14.2 billion per year in 1981. By 1995 this figure was estimated to have risen to more than $38.4 billion per year.
  • We are changing people’s lives for the better. We are giving them hope. We are CREATING ABILITY
  • Proverbs says: “Without Vision the people perish” Proverbs 29:18
why is next generation visual aid important6
Why is Next Generation Visual Aid Important?
  • How much is it worth to be able to see faces?
  • How much is it worth to be able to read stories to your kids?
  • What’s the price of a person’s self-esteem?
  • The reason, above all else, is that we are helping PEOPLE
goal for advanced visual aid
Goal for Advanced Visual Aid
  • To create Ability from Disability for those with visual impairment
    • Address both the needs of low vision patients AND those with situational visual impairments
    • Target developments to both the wide consumer market AND the disability market
      • Mass consumer market will attract partners, finance research and lower the cost of what is developed

Concept for Low Vision Aid

Electronics &

Wireless communications


Image processing,

camera control &

wireless communications



how do we achieve this goal
How Do We Achieve This Goal?
  • The consumer marketplace is driving the developments we need
    • Smaller and more powerful ultra portable computers (computer gaming and laptops)
    • Increasing integration of functionality into portable devices (cell phone, PDA etc)
      • Computer, cell phone, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), Global Positioning Satellite (GPS)
      • Wireless communication and smart networks
    • Improved display technologies with better resolution, higher contrast and lower power consumption (portable computing)
    • Smaller batteries with higher energy density (laptops, cell phones)
    • Smaller, lighter optics and cameras (digital cameras, camcorders)
  • We “ride the wave” of these technologies and develop only what we need to.
innovative displays make new devices possible

Today’s Technology

Innovative Displays Make New Devices Possible
  • Electronic Ink ( gives a paper-like high contrast reflective display visible in even bright light.
  • Displays are light, thin and low power
  • Picture shows Sony e-book device with e-ink display
innovative displays make new devices possible11

Today’s Technology

Innovative Displays Make New Devices Possible
  • Philips has developed a display which can be rolled up
  • Displays can be large but fit into compact spaces.
shrinking size of portable electronics

Today’s Technology

Shrinking Size of Portable Electronics
  • World’s smallest cell phone: 3.3” X 2.1” X 0.33” weighing 2.5 oz.
  • Philips keychain camcorder, camera, MP3 player, flash drive
    • MPEG4 Camcorder (25 min; QVGA @ 30 fps), QVGA is 240 x 320 pixels
    • Micro display viewfinder
    • 2MP Digital Still Camera (200 pics)
    • USB direct battery re-charge
    • 128MB USB storage device
    • 2 hours of MP3 play-back

NEC N900 phone

Philips Key019

computing needs for next generation visual aid

Today’s Technology

Computing Needs for Next Generation Visual Aid
  • A controller for next generation low vision aid should:
    • Provide wireless connection to head mounted portion
    • Provide internet connectivity to promote wayfinding and incorporation of other capabilities
    • Integrate easily with capabilities developed by other researchers
    • Be capable of exploiting RFID and other technologies
  • Computing needs might be satisfied in one of 3 ways:
    • Computers with a laptop form factor
    • Computers with a PocketPC form factor
    • Cellular phones (most promising)
tiny laptop type computers

Today’s Technology

Tiny Laptop-Type Computers
  • Tiny computer in a “laptop” form factor – Flipstart computer (Vulcan)
    • 1 GHz Transmeta Crusoe processor
    • 5.8” X 4” X 1”
    • Weighs 1 pound
    • Built in 802.11G wireless
pocket sized pc

Today’s Technology

Pocket-Sized PC
  • Going beyond today’s very light laptops, there are currently several different ultra-personal computers
    • The size of a PDA
    • Also function as a desktop computer when in docking stand
    • Run Windows XP and have 1 GHz processor
    • USB, wireless internet, Bluetooth, firewire etc

Antelope Technologies


more than a cell phone

Today’s Technology

More Than A Cell Phone
  • Nokia 7700
    • Music and video playback and streaming
    • Internet browsing
    • Video playback (Realplayer)
    • 640x480 camera with 2X digital zoom
    • FM radio
    • Email , text messaging, multimedia messaging
    • MP3 player
    • Integrated handsfree & voice recorder
    • Bluetooth technology (including audio)
    • Personal Information Management: calendar, contacts, tasks, calculator and more
    • Word, Sheet, and Presentation Viewer; Word & Sheet converter
    • Touch screen and pen-based (stylus) input
    • Weight: 6.5 Oz
    • Dimensions: 5.3 in/ x 3.1 in. x 0.9 in.
    • Display size: 640 x 320 pixels 65,536 colors
    • On-screen keyboard
    • Handwriting recognition
    • Runs JAVA applets
    • 20 MB internal storage, 64 MB memory card (can buy 128 MB card)
    • Bluetooth, can synchronize with local PC

Nokia 9500 Communicator

thin client computer with hmd

Today’s Technology

Thin-Client Computer With HMD
  • Microvision’s Nomad Expert System
    • Augmented reality HMD
    • Thin client computer
    • Used in automotive industry to overlay diagrams on hardware being worked on

Nomad System

approaching the one chip device

Near-term Developments (<1 year to market)

Approaching the One-Chip Device
  • Today it takes 1 chip for microcontrollers in small devices, GPS and radio (see figure: from left to right - a microcontroller chip, GPS receiver chip, & OOK radio module)
information storage batteries

Near-term Developments (<1 year to market)

Information Storage & Batteries
  • Toshiba has the world’s smallest hard drive at about 0.85 inches diameter and holds 4 GB
  • Toshiba 1.8” used in Apple IPOD
  • IPOD Mini uses 1” Hitachi drive
  • Seagate 1” 5GB drive to sell in 2004, one version for mobile electronics, the other will fit into compact flash slot
  • Philips Research Labs has developed the ability to manufacture curved Li Ion batteries that do not compromise battery efficiency
    • Battery design can be ergonomic
  • Direct Methanol Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Fuel Cells are also coming to market

Toshiba Hard Drive

Lithylene curved battery cell

tiny auto focus lenses cameras

Near-term Developments (<1 year to market)

Tiny Auto-focus Lenses & Cameras
  • Philips Research Labs has developed a tiny variable focus fluid lens. It is aimed at the digital camera market. The picture shows a camera with the lens on it. On the right is the lens by itself. The lens can become concave or convex.
trends in semiconductor industry

Near-term Developments (<1 year to market)

Trends in Semiconductor Industry
  • Computer chips
    • Chip makers are now moving from a 90 nanometer feature size to a 65 nanometer feature size. This will reduce chip sizes and power consumption.
    • Intel has just released a new chip set and reference design which enables smaller PDAs
    • Processors for mobile computing continue to become faster and have lower power consumption
trends in cell phone processor performance

Near-term Developments (<1 year to market)

Trends in Cell Phone Processor Performance
  • Intel just introduced a MEMS chip that integrates passive components onto a single chip, saving 66% in size
  • Hermon, Intel's next-generation integrated cellular processor will integrate the Bulverde application processor formally launched last week as well as a baseband processor and flash.
  • The Hermon chip will bring Pentium-class performance to cell phones and could help reduce component count which today hovers at about 200 parts in phones with 286-class performance
  • Cell phones can now read RFID tags. Nokia recently introduced a Mobile RFID kit for its 5140 GSM phones. (Check out, DocFinder: 1729, for details).
  • Cell phones are adding the processing power and capabilities and already have internet access. They already have a huge user base and are produced in the millions.
trends in pcs

Near-term Developments (<1 year to market)

Trends in PCs
  • Developments in PCs
    • AMD's HyperTransport allows a computer's key components to communicate with each other at speeds of up to 50 times faster than the PCI bus currently used in most PCs
    • PCI Express - faster and simpler version of the PCI bus that promises to reduce the size and cost of both plug-in cards and motherboards
    • Serial ATA - high-speed storage interface that cuts down on the cabling within PCs
    • Serial-Attached SCSI - speed-scalable and less power-hungry version of the familiar SCSI storage device interface that also allows for physically smaller drives
    • Express-Card - new PC expansion card standard, based on PCI Express, replaces older PCMCIA cards with smaller, faster and cheaper plug-in modules
    • Transition from 32-bit to 64-bit technology
engineering the product challenge transparent use
Engineering The ProductChallenge: Transparent Use
  • This is one of our big challenges
  • Involves
    • Ease of use
    • Intuitiveness
      • Enhance senses we use
  • Many low vision patients are elderly. Many in the current generation of elderly people suffer from Technophobia
  • Clinical trials and real-world feedback are crucial
engineering the product challenge operational inertia
Engineering The ProductChallenge: Operational Inertia
  • What kind of resistance does the device have against its use?
  • Involves
    • Ease of setup – time and effort required before initial use
    • Interactive complexity – how difficult is device to interact with (controls etc)
    • Obtrusiveness of device
      • When not in use
      • When in use – does it make you look like a geek?
    • Price to the end user
      • Many low vision patients are elderly with fixed income
      • $4,000 is too much for many of them