What is Eyeware?
Eyeware is an Augmented Reality based Application that is available for iOS and Android. Using a mobile device, inside of a low cost and easy to distribute Virtual Reality Cardboard headset, we can see the world around us with any one of the six most common eye conditions. These can be experienced in early, intermediate and late stages. Eyeware was originally developed to raise awareness of visual impairments as well as to be used as a tool to assess existing transport hubs and spaces around inclusive design.
How can Eyeware be used?
Using the Eyeware system we can start to think about the design of transport hubs, vehicles, wayfinding, user interfaces and even ticket design with visual impairments at the forefront. For example, if we consider the new HS2 exchange concepts, we can begin to experience those designs through the eyes of somebody with a visual impairment, before the transport exchange has even left the design phase. To experience an environment in this way during the design phase ensures the success of inclusive design implementation throughout a project.
To look through the eyes of somebody with a visual impairment is an extremely powerful way of understanding eye conditions, whilst considering how surrounding environments can be improved and adapted to cater for individual needs.
Eyeware can be used across a vast array of applications and distributed across many channels. Eyeware is gathering pace across transport, technology, accessibility, architecture, urban design, and retail sectors. The system also has the support of the Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco as well as Yahoo. In addition to this support, Eyeware has been intregrated into San Francisco State Universities course content. This is to firstly teach about visual impairment, as well as to improve course content for visually impaired students.
A large number of transport operators have shown major interest in rolling Eyeware out to their front-line staff, trainers and head of accessibility.
Eyeware has received the support of Yahoo, The Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco, Google, Microsoft, Apple and San Francisco State University.
The system is being adopted by a major UK banking group to help train staff about visual impairments, and how their newly rolled out ATM system is designed to assist the visually impaired.
Eyeware has been adopted by San Francisco State University to teach about visual impairments, and improve course content for visually impaired students.
The future of Eyeware
We also applied the same RNIB accredited filters into an immersive, multi-user, cross-platform inclusive design tool aimed to allow designers to see through somebody else’s eyes during the design process, in a truly immersive way. We believe that by experiencing complex designs that are sometimes difficult to imagine, we can start to better understand the unforeseen challenges to both fully able passengers as well as disabled and visually impaired.
Using this design tool, transport operators, decision makers and designers can meet and collaborate in an immersive design space together, regardless of their geographical locations. Within this space, users can make design changes and choices whilst looking through the eyes of somebody with a visual impairment.
Experiencing these designs through somebody else’s eyes can be a profound and enlightening experience for designers. This not only means that designers can easily adapt their designs for accessibility, but it ensures that their designs are as inclusive as possible. Getting timely advice and the right time in a project can help to ensure the success of inclusive design within a project and saves the costs of retro fitting accessibility features into build and finished projects.
We believe that this tool will help to change the way that spaces, places, vehicles and projects will be designed. We also believe that good accessibility design is something that will be of benefit for everybody., Everybody benefits from great design after all.