Embracing Moonlight Dances with Luna Glasses
As winter’s embrace descends each year, the world turns into an obstacle course for those afflicted with night blindness. With late sunrises and early sunsets, basic activities such as commuting to work, cycling to the gym, or meeting friends at dimly lit venues become daunting tasks. Luna Glasses, however, aim to restore the freedom of dancing beneath the moonlight sky.
Luna Glasses were conceived by Karst Hoogsteen, who himself struggles with a visual impairment that renders him nearly blind. While working on his thesis in management and marketing studies, he reached a breaking point. Frustrated by the limitations his visual impairment imposed on his life, he resolved to shift his focus to computer science and ophthalmology to devise a solution for himself and others in similar situations.
Illuminating the Night
At first glance, Luna Glasses may seem like a simple solution to a complex problem. As Karst explains, “Luna Glasses are essentially ordinary glasses with a twist.” Equipped with a camera, the glasses capture real-time footage which is then instantly edited and projected onto the lenses. This process brightens the image and allows the wearer to adjust contrast, making it possible to discern subtle differences like grass from pavement. To the user, the world appears as if bathed in daylight.
The decision to use standard glasses was intentional. Military-grade night vision goggles were an alternative option, but their bulkiness and conspicuous appearance often stigmatize those with visual disabilities. By opting for ordinary glasses, the design remains discreet and lightweight, ensuring that users can wear them without drawing undue attention to their impairment.
Communicating the Vision
When Karst embarked on this innovative journey, he connected with Briskr. Through their pitch training, he learned how to effectively communicate his vision to investors. This newfound skill proved invaluable not only for pitching at BANN, but also in other aspects of his life.
The most remarkable aspect of Luna Glasses, according to Karst, is their closeness to the end-users. His own visual impairment, once a source of isolation, now drives the development of a product that benefits others with similar challenges. He can personally test the glasses as they are developed, allowing the team to identify and resolve issues early on. To ensure user-centric development, a panel of testers evaluates the prototypes.
Karst recounts the emotional impact of witnessing panel members trying the glasses for the first time: “It’s incredibly humbling. While I tend to focus on the technical side, seeing someone brought to tears because they can finally distinguish a hedgehog at night is a powerful reminder of the significance of our work.”
From Prototype to Widespread Use
Currently, Karst and his team are refining the Luna Glasses for broader market appeal, with improved resolution and faster projection speed. The team is passionate about the project, as their collective knowledge is being applied to create a comprehensive device for a specific target group.
Ultimately, Karst envisions the glasses benefiting everyone who struggles with night vision. As vision naturally declines with age, the goal is to develop glasses that can be purchased at any optician’s office, helping countless individuals step out of the shadows and embrace the world, even in the darkest hours.
More info: https://luna.io/
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