Samsung launches ‘Relúmĭno’ visual aid application

Asia-Pacific, Assistive Technology, News, August 21 2017

Samsung Electronics announced that it will launch ‘Relúmĭno,’ a visual aid application for people with low vision. Relúmĭno’ is a visual aid application that works in conjunction with the Gear VR to enhance the vision of people with vision disabilities. Users with newer models of Galaxy smartphones, including the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8 and S8+ will be able to download ‘Relúmĭno’ for free in the Oculus Store with support for both English and Korean. ‘Relúmĭno’ does not provide support for totally blind people.

Color Invert ModeThe visual aid application processes images from videos projected through the rear camera of a smartphone and makes the images friendly for people with vision disabilities. More specifically, its major features include magnifying and minimizing image; highlighting the image outline; adjusting color contrast and brightness; reversing color; and screen color filtering. The end effect is that ‘Relúmĭno’ enables people with vision disabilities to see images clearer when they are reading a book or viewing an object.

For those with a blind spot in vision or the Tunnel Vision, which is the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, ‘Relúmĭno’ aids by remapping unseen images to place in visible parts of the eye. Specifically, when users set the sizes of a blind spot or tunnel vision for the first use, the application automatically places the blind point in the visible surrounding parts and puts images within the ‘tunnel’ or visible range, helping users who have a visual field defect to see things better. Unlike other visual aids with similar quality that often cost thousands of dollars, ‘Relúmĭno’ users can enjoy equivalent features at a much more affordable price.

Earlier this year in Barcelona, Relúmĭno drew much attention in Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry. Samsung’s in-house incubator program, C-Lab received positive feedback for showcasing a technology developed to help people with disabilities rather than pursuing profits with conventional VR devices.

Selected as a C-Lab project last May, Relúmĭno was first designed to help people with vision disabilities enjoy daily activities such as watching TV and reading books like people with no physical disability. The project members named its application ‘Relúmĭno’ meaning ‘Light up again’ in Latin as they wanted to help people with vision disabilities feel the joy of daily activities that most people usually take for granted.

While most C-Lab projects are completed within a year, Relúmĭno will continue to carry out follow-up tasks. It plans to develop glasses-like products so that people with vision disabilities can use the visual aids in their daily life without grabbing others’ attentions. In addition, the team will continuously address inconveniences that arise from the recently released application by getting users’ feedback.

Launched in December 2012, C-Lab is a startup business program that nurtures a creative corporate culture and innovative ideas among Samsung employees. The program supports projects that contribute to society like ‘Relúmĭno’ in addition to IT projects related to the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables and virtual reality.

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