"The First Step to Returning the Light to Visually Impaired People"
Samsung Electronics has taken a significant step toward the distribution of 'Relumino', a visual aid solution for people with low vision.
Samsung Electronics recently distributed around 30 glass-type wearable devices for trial use free of charge to the Community Agency of Blind in Gyeonggi Province, and Korean actor and director Seung-hwan Song, an initial user of the product, to verify the usability compliance of Relumino.
Returning the Light to People With Low Vision
'Relumino,' which originates from a Latin word meaning 'to return back the light.'
Samsung Electronics' Relumino is composed of the 'Relumino App', a smartphone image processing software that enhances the recognition of objects by boosting the residual vision of users with low vision, and a glass-type wearable device. The app is installed on a smartphone to be used in conjunction with the Glass connected by a USB cable.
It is designed for people with low vision which accounts for about 90% of visually impaired people.
The images captured by the camera mounted on the Relumino Glass are converted into a form that enhances the object recognition of people with low vision, such as edge enhancement, zoom in/out, color inversion/contrast adjustment, etc. in the Relumino app on the smartphone.
The Relumino app has UX using 'tactile sense' enabling people with low vision to operate it easily without looking at the screen. The user can view the improved videos in real-time through the Glass display.
Depending on the severity or type of visual impairment, individual customized settings are also available.
Samsung Electronics conducted clinical trials of Relumino in cooperation with Samsung Medical Center and confirmed its safety, superior performance, usability, and fatigue mitigation compared to existing commercial products through a visually impaired user evaluation.
"I'm satisfied with being able to properly see people and objects that were blurry," said director Seung-hwan Song. “I had difficulties recognizing the facial expressions of the other actors, but now that I can feel the emotions and facial expressions using Relumino during rehearsals and such, I think it will be of great help in improving the quality of my acting.”
“The most impressive moment was when the visually impaired people read the text clearly after wearing Relumino,” said Director of the Community Agency of Blind in Gyeonggi Province Ok-dong Jung. “We will contribute to improving the information accessibility and quality of life for visually impaired people by operating this distribution project," he said.
A 7-year Journey to Bring ‘Appropriate Technology’
Samsung Electronics' Relumino is the result of the long research and effort of a small project.
In 2016, an idea to maximize the residual vision of people with low vision was selected as a project for Samsung Electronics' in-house venture program ‘C-Lab'.
Researcher Junghoon Cho, who began the Relumino project, said, "I started the study when the survey results showed that 92% of visually impaired people are heavily dependent on TV, choosing it as their top leisure activity despite poor accessibility."
In 2017, they developed the Relumino app using the Samsung Gear VR, and then developed a glass-type device for the first time in 2018 through research based on the needs of actual users. Over years, they have increased conveniences such as comfort and fatigue mitigation.
Research on Relumino is currently undergoing continuous technology advancement at Samsung Research, including ▲safety and usability, ▲radio wave certification of Glass to ensure quality, ▲clinical trials, ▲software verification, ▲reliability tests, and user evaluations.
Samsung Electronics plans to strengthen user convenience by developing smaller and lighter Relumino Glass and additional features.
In addition, they will also continue to improve the quality of life of the socially underprivileged through continuous technology development and seek ways to increase support in the future.
Meanwhile, the first-person documentary series ‘Samsung Dreams On’ on the Samsung Newsroom YouTube channel delivers a message of hope from researcher Junghoon Cho, the developer of Relumino.
A glass-type wearable device, Relumino Glass
People at the Community Agency of Blind in Gyeonggi Province are experiencing Relumino Glass