This new Samsung tool is using VR to bring sight to the near-blind.
VR has the opportunity to improve so much of daily life by altering and improving reality. For those with vision impairment, seeing and reading are the ultimate improvements to reality—and VR may be the solution.
Relúmĭno is an app that pairs with the Samsung Gear VR to serve as a smart aid for these people, allowing them to engage with the world like never before.
By processing the outside world through a smartphone camera and altering the image, near-blind and other visually impaired people have the opportunity for better quality reading and television viewing experiences.
“Relúmĭno will be the life-changer for 240 million of the visually impaired people around the world and we promise a firm and continuing support,” said Jaiil Lee, Vice President and Head of Creativity & Innovation Center at Samsung Electronics, in an August statement.
Relúmĭno not only displays the image from the smartphone camera, it also allows the user to adjust the image—including color contrast and brightness, the size of the image and the screen color and brightness.
These adjustments also allow people with tunnel vision to see beyond their vision. Relúmĭno remaps unseen images and places them in visible parts of the eye within the VR experience. Though Relúmĭno won’t be able to help those with total blindness.
This isn’t the only application of its kind, Android has a similar app called Near Sighted VR that works in a similar fashion by using the Android’s camera to create a stereoscopic view or one split between your two eyes.
Samsung users with newer models of Galaxy smartphones, including the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8 and S8+ can download Relúmĭno for free in the Oculus Store in both English and Korean.