Oriense, a Russian developer of high-tech devices for the visually impaired, has released its first product: a 3D camera.
Orsens, the 3D camera released by Oriense. Photo: Oriense
The St. Petersburg-based team and resident of Skolkovo’s IT cluster has produced Orsens, a B2B solution that can be integrated with all manner of technology for a wide range of purposes, though robotics is the primary market.
“This product targets robotics developers but also copters and wearable electronics that use computer vision,” Oriense general director Vitaly Kitaev told sk.ru. “Unlike Kinect and similar systems, Orsens works in natural light with lower energy consumption, and builds a picture of depth independently.”
Spinning off Orsens as a separate B2B solution is a tactic to open an additional income stream. Orsens is the core technology of a product the company pitched to Samsung last year and is planning to release this year: glasses that help blind and visually impaired people navigate around obstacles.
The Orsens 3D Camera combines with GPS technology to analyze the environment and notify the user of obstacles with the help of three-dimensional audio. The user hears sound emanate from the direction of the obstacle in plenty of time to react.
The designers say the glasses, which are to be offered with a provisional retail price of $300 to $700 per unit, increase the independence of the blind and visually impaired and decrease care costs. A prototype is nearly finished, while market entry is planned for later this year.
But for now, the company is releasing the camera alone with a cross-platform software development kit. The preorder price is set at $200 per unit, or $160 for orders of 10 or more. It rises to $250 per unit, with similar discounts for bulk purchases, after the preorder phase.
“Everyone understands perfectly well the prospects for robotics and how deeply it will enter our everyday lives,” Kitaev added. “This is where the need for quality and low-cost ‘eyes’ comes in. Robots are becoming more and more active, they are starting to ‘leave’ the home, it’s precisely here where we can help.”
Oriense came through the iDealMachine business accelerator and has won domestic and international tech competitions.
Vasily Ryzhonkov, the head of Skolkovo’s Mobile Technology Center, noted the “important social and economy problem” the company is solving: “raising quality of life for the blind and visually impaired.”
“Around 2 percent of the world population are in this category, about 140 million,” he said. “It’s clear that the problem is not solved entirely, and we’re still to find a proper and low-cost replacement for the guide dog in our technology-filled society,” he added.
“The product that Oriense is releasing is an important step in the development of the project.”