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Technology for visual Impairments Rehabilitation on Early-life through Social Information Augmentation

Project description

Augmented reality helps visually impaired to see

There are estimated to be over 30 million blind and partially sighted persons in Europe. Visual impairment causes problems that are not fixable by usual means like glasses. It also reduces a person’s ability to meet personal, social or occupational demands. The EU-funded TIRESIA project will focus on children. It will develop an innovative technology that extends residual sight using augmented reality (AR). As such, it will boost vision automatically, delivering socially relevant and supportive visual information. It will design special visual filters for AR glasses. The long-term goal is to promote social inclusion and improve quality of life for visually impaired individuals.

Objective

The goal of the TIRESIA project is to implement a novel visual assistive technology that augments the residual sight of visually impaired (VI) individuals, with focus on children, enhancing their access to socially relevant information from visual input. Such a technology is intended to provide: i) an assistive function, based on augmented reality (AR) to automatically increase the saliency of socially relevant visual information, and ii) a rehabilitative function, improving long-term VI subjects’ attention to social visual cues. The TIRESIA goal reflects the need for a timely intervention in the impairments of social and interactive skills associated with a visual deficit, especially in early life when such skills are developed and before atypical patterns emerge.
The project will be implemented throughout three main steps: 1) development of visual filters for social enrichment, exploiting end-to-end learning of visual transformations based on deep networks, 2) integration of the visual filters on AR glasses, and finally 3) validation of the approach at the neuroscientific level on a large sample of VI adults and children. These goals will be achieved thanks to the transfer of knowledge among the partner (MIT) and the host (IIT) institutions, involving advanced expertise in computer vison, neuroscience, visual rehabilitation, as well as solid scientific and clinical collaboration networks.
TIRESIA has a strong interdisciplinary nature and a high applicative potential. It is expected to have an impact: at the scientific level, by introducing an innovative approach to visual assistive technologies based on computer vision; at the individual level, in terms of enhanced career prospects of the experienced researcher; at the organisation level, starting a novel scientific collaboration among the partner and host institutions; and finally, at the societal level, contributing to promote inclusion and better quality of life for impaired individuals.

Coordinator

FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Net EU contribution
€ 251 002,56
Address
VIA MOREGO 30
16163 Genova
Italy

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Region
Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 251 002,56

Partners (1)