Subscribe to Newsletter
Subspecialties Comprehensive, Health Economics and Policy

Good Vibrations

A close-up of the image processing unit of the wearable collision device. Credit: Mass Eye and Ear.
Gang Luo, associate scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, and an associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, displays the camera on the strap of wearable collision device. The camera is connected to a processing unit that captures images and analyzes collision risk based on the relative movement of incoming and surrounding objects. Credit: Mass Eye and Ear.

People who are visually impaired are now more independent and active than ever – but is there a way to also make them safer than ever? A randomized trial of 31 blind and visually impaired adults, conducted at Mass Eye and Ear in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, showed that a new wearable warning device reduced collisions by 37 percent compared with using a long cane, a guide dog, or both.

The device uses a wide-angle chest-mounted camera and two wristbands with a Bluetooth connection. Image-based data from the camera are used to calculate collision risk on the right, left, or head-on; when an obstacle is detected, the appropriate wristbands vibrate, letting the user know to move out of the way. Thanks to a novel computer vision algorithm that analyzes relative motion, the device can ignore nearby objects not on a collision course, making life on the go safer for people with vision impairments.

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Ophthalmologist and its sponsors.

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. S Pundlik et al., JAMA Ophthalmol, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34292298.
About the Author
Aleksandra Jones

Editor of The Ophthalmologist

Having edited several technical publications over the last decade, I crossed paths with quite a few of Texere's current team members, and I only ever heard them sing the company's praises. When an opportunity arose to join Texere, I jumped at the chance! With a background in literature, I love the company's ethos of producing genuinely engaging content, and the fact that it is so well received by our readers makes it even more rewarding.

Product Profiles

Access our product directory to see the latest products and services from our industry partners

Most Popular
Register to The Ophthalmologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine



The Ophthalmologist website is intended solely for the eyes of healthcare professionals. Please confirm below: