EIC Projects | .lumen
Every project that is successful in EIC schemes and not only in them should be prepared and implemented in such a way as to bring solutions to a real problem, ideally one that is a problem in global scope. The successful Romanian project (the very first Romanian project supported by the EIC Accelerator schemes) .lumen was founded as a research start-up with a mission to improve the lives of blind people. The problem that the project solves is the huge number of blind people in the world – currently it is around 40 million and it is expected that in 2050 there will be up to 100 million. Despite all the innovations and the time that wishes for innovations, the blind have only a guide dog and a mallet for the visually impaired. A guide dog, which is unanimously considered as a good solution, has several disadvantages – high training costs and most blind people cannot take care of guide dogs on their own. According to .lumen, there are only about 20,000 guide dogs for 40 million visually impaired people.
Here comes the innovation .lumen glasses. These glasses offer an alternative to improving the quality of life for the blind. .Lumen glasses first capture the environment, objects, their position and movement in 3D, calculate interaction paths to the desired objects or in general based on context, and then transmit information to the blind using haptic and auditory pulses.
.lumen acquired within the scheme EIC Accelerator so-called mixed support, which consists of grant financing and capital investment. Mixed funding means a smaller development grant and later a larger capital investment to scale the product and reach the mass market. In total, the company received financial support of EUR 9.8 million. Their team plans to continue research into the use of their glasses, which it plans to supplement with other functions for their use in complex environments – exteriors and interiors.