In Brief
Google isn't the only technology giant looking into augmenting human potential through smart glasses. A recently revealed patent from IBM details smart glasses intended for the visually impaired.
  • The key difference between IBM’s patent and Google Glass is that the IBM glasses have two cameras, one for both eyes. IBM’s glasses will require a paired smartphone or tablet, which will upload images from the glasses so a more powerful computer in the cloud could run image recognition algorithms.
  • The invention could help visually impaired people by allowing them to point at an object and receive back the name communicated by a small microphone carried by the wearer. The glasses can even warn people they’re about to run into an obstacle.
  • The patent seems to be geared toward the medical field and exists at the nexus of the miniaturization of technology as well as artificial intelligence. It’s not a full solution — it requires three separate objects — but it could be a lifesaver for visually impaired people.