STMicroelectronics imaging technology helps visually impaired

STMicroelectronics announced that its 5.1 mega-pixel camera module and low-power digital image processor are being used in the revolutionary OrCam camera, a small device that clips on to eyeglasses and dramatically improves the mobility and ability of visually-impaired people to “read” signs, packaging and publications.

By pointing to an object, the wearer tells the OrCam camera what they need interpreted. The ST VX6953 camera module and STV0987 image processor work together to analyze and interpret the scene before the eye-glass-mounted device aurally describes it to the user. Using the ST technology and its own algorithms, the OrCam camera quickly reads a scene or text in different lighting conditions and on a variety of surfaces, including newspapers and signs. Moreover, while the camera comes with a pre-stored library of objects, the wearer can continue to teach OrCam new objects as they use it.

“The VX6953 from ST gave us the ability to deliver a very compact unit, in a short time frame. Its EDOF (Extended Depth Of Field) capability enabled us to work with a fixed-focus camera, and thus saved us space, power and the time it takes auto-focus modules to adjust to changing situations,” said Prof. Amnon Shashua, co-founder and chairman of OrCam Technologies.

“ST continues to look at opportunities where our products and technologies help make a positive difference to people’s lives,” said Paul Grimme, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Europe, Middle East, and Africa Region, STMicroelectronics. “Applying our camera module and image processor to help the visually impaired safely cross streets and read street signs, the newspaper, or a menu in a restaurant, is a real example of how ST makes life augmented.”

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