Tech giant Samsung has decided to take on visual impairment through the magic of virtual reality, and the fruits of those labors have culminated into the Relumino Project. The project essentially takes advantage of the high-resolution cameras and screens on modern Galaxy phones’ screens to let them act as a powerful, digitally modifiable pair of glasses. The Relumino app features a number of different modes that all address different facets of low vision. There’s a color inversion mode that makes text easier to read by increasing the contrast, a mode that moves images around to compensate for tunnel vision and center vision loss, a mode that’s able to strengthen object outlines to help people who can normally only see light and color, and finally, there’s a color filter mode that helps to reduce glare and increase detail levels. Some of these modes can be switched around and turned on automatically thanks to a feature called Omnifocal that can detect what a user is looking at or doing and adjust accordingly.
Obtaining and setting up the app is somewhat simple, but you won’t be able to find it in the Play Store, the Oculus Store, or the Samsung Apps store. Through the source link, you can sign up to get a verification code in your email. Connecting your Galaxy smartphone to a Gear VR unit will prompt you to install the Oculus app, where you can redeem the code to download the app. Once you’ve done that, just run the app and connect your phone to the headset. The Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy Note 7 FE are compatible, as are the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Older Galaxy phones and phones from other brands are not compatible. Samsung is working on a special pair of glasses with Relumino on board, for those who don’t have a compatible smartphone around.
According to Jeonghun Cho of Samsung’s C-Labs special projects laboratory, the project was actually inspired by him learning that only a small percentage of the visually impaired are actually fully blind. Some 86% of people out there with a visual impairment of some sort simply have low vision, which led Cho to question how he could use technology to help this crowd. Looking into how the ailments linked to visual impairment normally work, he countered each individual trait of low vision to create Relumino.