Individuals living with low vision face a variety of challenges participating in workplace, home maintenance, and recreational activities. Many such visual conditions can only be partially corrected. Unfortunately, persons without complete correction frequently continue to face substantial limitations due to their continued difficulties with sight.

Samsung’s new Relúmĭno smart glasses are designed to enhance the vision of individuals facing such challenges. These smart glasses are formed by attaching a compatible Samsung smartphone with the Relúmĭno app installed to the front of any Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset. A list of compatible Samsung smartphones is available on the product website.

Once the Relúmĭno is configured, it can make the world an easier place to see for persons with a variety of visual challenges. These conditions include nearsightedness, diminished visual contrast, scotoma or isolated area of visual degeneration, and tunnel vision. The scotoma and tunnel vision modes allow the user to move areas of missed or reduced vision into usable visual field so that they can be seen. “Regular mode” sharpens and emphasizes the borders of objects to make them clearer for persons with diminished acuity.

Relúmĭno smart glasses also have visual controls for the smartphone screen. The entire visual field covered by the glasses can be treated with the zoom, brightness/contrast, color filter/strength, and color invert settings. While these are standard screen features, viewing the screen throughout the entire visual field means that the viewer can see the image at a much larger scale. It also means that he or she does not need to physically maneuver a relatively small, possibly breakable device to see the screen. Reading can also be facilitated using the screen capture feature to create screenshots of eBook pages.

Although Relúmĭno has many great features, it is still not a perfect product. Virtual reality headsets are often heavy and cumbersome to wear. Samsung VR Gear headset needs to continue developing sleeker and lighter weight models to make everyday use more feasible. A second concern is the Samsung exclusivity. While Relúmĭno is a Samsung product, extending its compatibility range to include other company’s smartphones and virtual reality devices would only enhance its market reach and impact. Overall, however, Relúmĭno can be a beneficial tool for those with low vision.