Monday, September 26

Glasses for the Blind Wins the Nobel Prize for Industrial Design

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Glasses for the Blind.lumen or DotLumen is a technology startup based in Romania working on increasing accessibility for the blind. Today, 40M+ blind people worldwide, despite all technological advancements, are facing mobility issues to do with accessing public spaces with confidence.

In Europe and the US, the provision of guide dogs is limited. According to a statement from .lumen (DotLumen), there are ~28,000 guide dogs to 40 million blind people. So, to cover up for this short supply of guide dogs for the visually challenged, .lumen (DotLumen) has developed Glasses for the Blind.

Glasses for the Blind mimics the main capabilities of a guide dog sans the drawbacks that make it a non-scalable solution. Using Glasses for the Blind, a blind person can confidently walk around and shop in the supermarkets without help. Here’s Andrea in the below video talking about her experience of using the Glasses for the Blind.


Source: Dot Lumen_Empowering the Blind


To achieve this, .lumen (DotLumen) collaborated with Desiro Vision, a design studio based in Cluj- Napoca, Romania. Desiro Vision specializes in research, design, and product development of like-minded design professionals who came together to impact early on from college days. Over time, the team has developed a great reputation for developing user-friendly sustainable technology products.

Within a short period of the innovative glasses being brought to the production stage, Cornel Amariei, the CEO of .lumen (DotLumen), endeavored to reach out to various government bodies and associational mechanisms to convince them to buy back so that the visually challenged citizens didn’t have to worry about the price of the highly advanced visual aid. In one such effort, he applied for institutional recognition.

As good things don’t stay under covers for long, the Glasses for the Blind, .lumen (DotLumen) and Desiro Vision soon attracted the jury’s attention of the Red Dot Luminary Award that received over 4000 design applications for a shortlist of 60 for one unanimous winner. Considered the Nobel Prize for Industrial Design, the award was to motivate innovation that can improve the lives of 40-50 million people.

The most advanced technology solutions are too dated for the 21st century. The guide dog and the white cane need to be replaced with something more intelligent leveraging advanced AI, Robotics and Neuroscience technologies. It is not easy to empower the blind, and at .lumen (DotLumen), Cornel draws his motivation from his parents with locomotor disabilities.

Cornel Amariei, aged 27, is a purpose-driven Romanian entrepreneur who designed his first robot at the age of 15, founded his high school’s robotics club at the age of 16, and obtained his first job offer at the age of 16. The young man has been involved in several ambitious initiatives. A  Forbes 30 under 30 alumni, Cornel is an internationally renowned innovator, both by the Forbes community and JCI, which acknowledged him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World.”



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