Eyesynth: A Remarkable Sonic System Tending to the Blind
Out of the 285 million visually impaired people worldwide, 39 million are entirely blind. While the figures are concerning, to say the least, what’s even more contradictory is that the global visual impairment industry - worth $4,362.8 million - has done very little to solve the problem.
Noticing the market’s lack of action, Antonio Quesada - a tech geek and creative - aimed for a bolder solution that tends to the blind with purpose. Powered by innovation, Antonio’s platform - Eyesynth - opens new horizons for the visually impaired and allows them to ‘see’ the world differently!.
Eyesynth represents an audiovisual system using a pair of smart glasses connected to a microcomputer. The cool thing about Eyesynth’s system is its ability to record real-life surroundings in 3D and transform them into understandable audio material!
Initially a rookie with no trained field knowledge, here’s how Antionio Quesada built himself up to become a technological genius whose platform lends a seeing eye to those in need!
A Founder’s Dream
Antonio Quesada was born in 1974 in an idyllic Spanish province. Growing up in the era of computers and technology made Antonio aware of his future calling from a very early age. Eager to become the technological prodigy of his generation, following his high school days, Antonio enrolled at the Oviedo University in Spain to study computer science and engineering.
Besides acquiring stellar computer science skills, Antonio had also nurtured a love for digital arts, which, right after college, led him to become a Superior Technician in Sound and Image, and later on, switch between related positions in order to gear up for a brighter business future ahead.
See the Future
Getting up on his two feet professionally urged Antiono Quesada to think outside the box and abandon his working-for-others practices to create something of his own.
Initially, Antonio had no idea where the business journey would take him, but then, the idea found him. Namely, after discussing how society today marginalizes the blind and visually impaired with his friend, Miguel Besides, Antonio sparked up an interest in reviving the industry and leaving his imprint on it.
As Miguel’s close friend’s son was also born blind, he was immediately on board with contributing to the complex issue and joined Antonio in contemplating a business model that would work in favor of all visually impaired individuals across the globe. After much debating, testing, and researching, in 2014, Antonio and Miguel felt ready as they’ll ever be to present the world with Eyesynth!
To ensure the platform meets all industry demands, and then some, the duo first tested the platform on Miguels’ friend’s son and once they noticed it worked spotlessly, they were ready to impress the visually impaired industry with it as well!
A Monumental Purpose
In essence, Eyesynth is an audiovisual device composed of a pair of glasses linked to a microcomputer that captures the setting in not one but three dimensions! The recorded data the system acquires, as a result, is then translated into audible material for the blind to use.
The sound provided to users is symbolic, whilst words and conversations are muted. The integral feature of Eyesynth is its cochlear audio, a form of hearing aid that instead of being used inside the ears, is placed above them, so it can touch the skull and absorb the echo so that the ears can listen.
Even more, users of the system can distinguish shapes and spaces, measure approximate depth, and locate various objects. The brain is able to maneuver information presented in such a manner as the glasses transmit images to the microcomputer, all concurrently processed and providing the user with immediate feedback.
Fame & Funding
Following its launch, Eyesynth was all brains and tech, but no reputation nor fame.
Its rise to recognition ultimately came with its funding, brought by a single mystery investor with a total worth of €1 million. Once the funds poured in, Eyesynth confidently entered the market and made a name for itself that earned the brand a significant award for best startup initiative in Europe, presented by Europe Awards Startup.
The success of Eyesynth would be nothing if it wasn’t for the expert team of professionals constantly working on improving the system. At the company, Alberto Fernandes is in charge of hardware development, whereas J.
Carlos Torres conducts the area of artificial vision engineering. Angel Garcia is responsible for the brand’s audio software engineering, whilst Christen H. Nielsen took on investments and strategies. The marketing aspect is handled by Mark J. Dodson, and Marcello Alegre works on product design.
Some of the other valued members of Eysynth include Lucas Gago, responsible for AI, Luis Colomer in charge of finances, and David Linores, leading the Scientific Coordination field.
The Secret Ingredient
One of the reasons why Eyesynth quickly gained momentum among blind individuals worldwide is because it deals with a somewhat unknown neurology field, synesthesia.
A neurological term, synesthesia simply translates to crossed senses, which are in charge of enabling newborns to hear images, smell sounds or taste colors.
As babies grow on, they can distinguish their senses and thus make more logical sense of the world. With blind people, however, the platform takes the main purpose of synesthesia and teaches them how to see audios, feel colors, and basically experience the world as any other living being.
Not Without Obstacles
Although a promising platform, Eyesynth had its share of troubles and hardships throughout the years. The greatest challenge the company faced was developing the image-to-speech algorithm accordingly, which required the processing of mass data acquired. Whilst obtaining the data was not an issue, actually putting it to use - was. However, once the team realized it was all about generating more energy and power to put the algorithm in motion, the platform began working seamlessly.
Another issue the Eyesynth team faced was a lack of finances to purchase the equipment necessary for their system, which they ultimately solved by finding a suitable investor to back the company’s progress. Last but not least, the most compelling problem of all was the development of the Eyesynth software which required extensive knowledge of calculations, machine learning, AI, architecture, and even ergonomics. Nevertheless, once the entire team was recruited, Antonio’s Eyesynth was ready to do the match, calculate the risks and conclude that their system was alive and kicking!
What the Future Holds
Today, Eyesynth is headquartered in Grao De Castellon, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain. The main backer of Eyesynth is EASME - EU Executive Agency for SMEs. Its workforce revolves around its already existing team, whereas its total revenue rounds up at $2.8 million.
Down the line, the company intends to make their glasses available to all patients in need, and set up a technological and mobilized standard for the blind whilst also developing a community that precisely addresses vision impairment issues of all sorts and facilitates the lives of its members - by sharing both support and stellar medical solutions!
Realizing the utmost importance of blind people being able to fit into today’s society, Eyesynth’s main goal still remains to provide the visually impaired community with increased mobility, independence, and a detailed understanding of the world.
Even more than that, it was Antonio’s principal vision - no pun intended - to let the blind community know that they are heard, seen, and understood - and that although their vision might be hurt, their opportunity to do something about is not!