20 July 2017

Around two million people in the UK are affected by sight loss and augmented reality gives us the potential to better understand the effects of a range of eye conditions.

Enter Eyeware - a smartphone app that comes in iOS and Android variants - that allows users to place a filter over their device's camera feed.

When combined with a VR headset - such as Google Cardboard - the user can experience the world in front of them as if they had these conditions.

The app, a product of the Transport Systems Catapult has been built in collaboration with the Royal National Institute for the Blind and can offer a view of the world as experienced by those suffering from:

  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Wet and dry age related macular degeneration (AMD)

The video below provides a flavour of how the app and a VR headset work in tandem as a user attempts to navigate Milton Keynes Railway Station.


The app serves as a reminder that for the design community a new generation of tools are allowing spaces and places to be walked-through and experienced from a range of perspectives, in some cases before they are even built. 

The Eyeware app is now available from the Google Play and Apple App Store. Eyeware Cardboard headsets can be obtained from a variety of places including the Transport Systems Catapult by e-mailing eyeware@ts.catapult.org.uk.

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