Warning: Red Light Ahead!
Audified Reality is a novel and promising start-up that strives to become a profitable company, while operating in the domain of technological solutions for people with visual impairment. Their main product is glasses, consisting of built-in micro-cameras, headphones and a micro-computer, and they are designed for people with some form of visual impairment. The idea is to create glasses with built-in micro cameras that will capture the environment around the user.
The system works in such a way that images captured from the cameras are sent to the micro-computer, where the images are converted into audio signals and presented to the user through the headphones. The user has an option to choose between 3 modes: reading, leisure or navigation. The reading mode (the name is self-explanatory) allows the visually impaired user to read texts, the leisure mode helps the user to feel the present moment through its face recognition and other object detection algorithms, and the navigation mode informs the user about his/her surroundings. All the modes convert the captured image to audio signals via cameras and headphones.
“Our idea is to create glasses with built-in micro cameras that will capture the environment around the user and after processing the images, inform them about their surroundings via headphones. Our research has shown that this product can be manufactured with relatively low costs.” – say the creators of the project.
Their idea took shape when they won the first prize at Social Impact Award – Macedonia in 2016. As a consequence, the team of Audified Reality had the opportunity to participate in the European SIA Summit in November 2016.
This proved to be crucial for the development of their idea, because in addition to exchanging experiences with the potential young social entrepreneurs around Europe, they got to meet new mentors and people from the community. During the same period, they won the first prize at the Startup Europe Awards in a local entrepreneurship challenge in Macedonia. Through this accomplishment, they became a Macedonian representative at the Startup Europe Awards in the category “Creative”. Subsequently, in April 2017, they won the second prize at the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Program, organized by British Council, in collaboration with the New Man’s Business Accelerator. Within the same time frame, they won the first place at the Startup Europe Awards, as best European Neighbor Startup in the category “Creative”. Hereby, it’s evident that this enthusiastic group of people and their efforts are slowly getting the deserved recognition of important stakeholders in the system. However, the idea is still in the stage of a prototype.