Dillibai J, Bachelor’s in Optometry

Aravind Fellowship in Clinical Optometry, Aravind Eye Care System, Chennai


According to the WHO-International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) vision report 2019, 2.2 billion people worldwide have vision impairment or blindness and 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented. (1) People with severe visual impairment might perform the regular tasks slower but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of doing it. It also deprives their ability to perform everyday tasks such as recognizing faces and navigating safely in their environment.

To address the issues faced by the people with severe visual impairment, a new device has been designed named Smart Vision Glasses (SVG). Smart vision glass is a wearable device incorporating Artificial Intelligence, Machine Vision, and Machine Learning to recognize objects, read text, recognize faces, and navigate safely. It is manufactured by Smart Global Technology in collaboration with a Boston-based NGO, Vision Aid. With the help of the Rotary club of Chennai, the first prototype was tried at Aravind Eye Hospital.

It is mainly beneficial for patients with severe visual impairment (<6/60 to no light perception) and reduced visual fields (Less than 20 degrees). It is also useful for children and young adults with reasonable cognition and learning disabilities. This device helps them in functioning independently and to be self-confident.

Figure 1: First prototype and available modes of Smart vision glasses.
[Picture courtesy – https://uat.aravind.org/news/low-vision-smart-vision-device/]

How SVG works

SVG works like any normal wearable eyeglasses but is fitted with two pen drive-like gadgets on the temple of the spectacle. The left pen drive has a camera with a flash that captures images. SVG has five main features, which include things around you, reading mode, walking assistant, facial storage, and volume adjustment.

  • Things around your mode enable the users to identify the table, chair, cups, bottle, people, gender, age, and colour of the objects.
  • Reading mode helps the users to read the text on screen and books in 73 different Indian languages. It also has the options such as repeat, pause, and resume.
  • Walking assistance mode helps in detecting obstacles with an alert to the user.
  • Facial storing mode aids in recognizing the faces of the people in front of the users. It can store up to 4 to 5 faces.
  • Volume can be adjusted by the volume mode.

Updated version of SVG

Figure 2: Second generation Smart vision glass
[Picture courtesy –

Some of the challenges in the first version are internet dependency, a lesser distance of obstacle detection, and difficulty in shifting from one mode to another. Considering these gaps, a second version has been designed with significant updates and launched in December 2021. This second prototype has a single-sided mechanism, and it is internet independent. The main update in this version is the addition of a standby touch key, which enables the user to easily move from one mode to another mode. Earphones can be connected via Bluetooth and the volume can also be adjusted. The second version can be used only by installing the smart vision glass app in the Google play store.


In conclusion, SVG is an effective mode of rehabilitation for the visually impaired which helps to perform their everyday tasks to the optimum. Thus, advancements like SVG are a boon to the patients with severe visual impairment. These glasses with the available features can make the lives of the visually impaired much easier.



  1. WHO (Ed.). (2019, October 8). World report on vision. Retrieved January 25, 2022,
    from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241516570
  2. Correspondent, S. (2021, August 18). Good news for those with low or no vision. The Hindu. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/good-news-for-those-with-low-or-no-vision/article35964002.ece
  3. Dass, R. (2021, July 24). Smart Vision Device Launched. Smart vision device launched. Retrieved January 24, 2022, from https://www.visionaid.org/news/369-vision-aid-launches-smart-vision-device-in-madurai
  4. Editor, A. (2021, August 24). Distribution of Smart Vision Spectacles. Aravind Eye Care System. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://uat.aravind.org/news/low-vision-smart-vision-device/