Microsoft reportedly working on a wearable device for visually challenged people

Microsoft reportedly working on wearable for visually challenged people

Wearable technology is the next big thing. Almost every big tech company is working on wearable technology. We have had a good run of rumors about Microsoft’s smartwatch as well, but no concrete information has surfaced to date. Now a new report suggests that Microsoft is working on a wearable device for blind people. The said device will help visually challenged people to navigate better in public as well as allow them to read things.

This wearable device has been dubbed “Smart Alice” and is reportedly being tested in the UK. The report claims that the smart headband provides information to the visually challenged through an earpiece when the wearer looks at an object. With the approach, it seems like Microsoft is targeting a different set of audience, and isn’t competing with Google’s Android Wear-powered smartwatches.

Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mentioned bringing technology to more people. And helping the blind does seem like a noble approach.

There is a concept video below from 2012 which fits several of the features in the product. The video is part of a project called Cities Unlocked, which was a result of a joint initiative between Microsoft, Guide Dogs, and a government backed initiative, Future Cities Catapult to build “smart” city technology.

We can expect more info on it later this year. "We are working together to explore new ideas, approaches and technologies for people living with sight loss to engage in the community and the environment they live in,” a spokesperson of Cities Unlocked said. "We look forward to sharing more details of the project later this year."