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New York firm develops ‘smart glasses’ aimed at restoring vision of US army veterans

A New York based that develops wearable display technology has announced it has manufactured an innovative and revolutionary pair of 'smart glasses' that has been specifically designed to restore the vision of US military veterans who lost their sight during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Vuzix Corp which is headquartered in Rochester, New York, said it was now entering into a new market following its unique development of a system that can help restore vision.

Acceptance of 'smart glasses' continues to accelerate in various industries across the US. There has been mass adoption of 'smart glasses' by factory workers who use the wearable technology to help them follow assembly line instructions or find items in a warehouse.

A survey that was conducted and compiled by Forrester Research has projected that 14.4 million US workers will be wearing 'smart glasses' by 2025, which would represent about 8% of the workforce.

It has been disclosed that software company CyberTimez supplied its own innovative software for Vuzix's 'smart glasses' which provide magnification and character recognition capabilities which enables users to read street signs, newspapers and other printed text, either by magnifying images or translating the text into audio.

In addition to this, it has been claimed that 'smart glasses' can connect with cochlear implants via Bluetooth and scan barcodes, which allows users to view the prices on products in stores. They can also help them distinguish between different cash bank notes.

Google Glass was launched in 2012, but it failed to catch the imagination of the public as consumer sales were slow. The glasses raised awkward questions over privacy and exposed their limited use in everyday life, according to Forrester Research.

However, Vuzix's decision to target the military market with these incredible 'smart glasses' could be worth well over $500 million. That was the figure floated by Dr. David Godbold, who is the National Director of the Wounded Warrior Program, a charity that has started offering glasses to veterans maimed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Vuzix's 'smart glasses' which weigh around 2.5 ounces won the contract to supply the veterans after an exhaustive six-month trial, defeating technology giants such as Google Glass, Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens in the process.

Wounded Warrior has announced plans to make the 'smart glasses' which are retailing at $2,300 available through its program and the U.S. Veterans Administration at no charge to veterans.

The first Wounded Warrior veteran to receive the glasses was Kevin Garland, a 24-year-old U.S. Army member who lost his hearing and part of his eyesight to an explosion while deployed in Afghanistan, Godbold said. He began using them late last month.