Wearable Tetherless Computer-Mediated Reality: WearCam as a Wearable Face-Recognizer, and Other Applications for the Disabled

Steve Mann

WearCam, a wearable multimedia system with video processing capability and wireless Internet connection, has rccently been proposed(Mann 1994b). In this paper, WearCam is presented as a prosthetic device. In particular, two example applications: the personal visual assistant; and the visual memory prosthetlc are described. Tlle personal visual assistant embodies a spatial visual filter that rcconfigures the human visual system, providing a coordinate transformation (remapping of spatial coordinates). Such coordinate transformations, it is hoped, might someday be of use to the partially sighted. The visual memory prosthetic(?) em-bodies a temporal visual filter that provides computer-induced flashbacks (possibly together with annotation). These flashbacks currently help the author overcome visual amnesia. It is hoped that, with furthcr research, the apparatus and approach might someday lead to perceptual intelligence that we can wear, and be of great benefit to the disabled.

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