Sound of Vision

Verkefnanúmer: 643636

Lengd verkefnis: 24 mánuðir (1. jan 2015 - 31. des 2017)

Heildarkostnaður: €3.960.709

Evrópustyrkur: €3.960.709 (€1.336.898 veittur Háskóla Íslands)

Styrkur í samræmi við: H2020-EU.3.1.4.

Verkefnastýring: Háskóli Íslands



Sound of Vision (Vision restoration through sound and haptics) will design, implement and validate an original non-invasive hardware and software system to assist visually impaired people by creating and conveying an auditory representation of the surrounding environment. This representation will be created, updated and delivered to a blind person continuously and in real time. This system will help visually impaired people in any kind of environment (indoor/outdoor), without the need for predefined tags/sensors located in the surroundings.

The process of assisting visually impaired people proposed by Sound of Vision consists of a series of repetitive steps. The first step uses hardware and software for generating a 3D representation of the surrounding environment. In the second step, objects are identified within the 3D model and the information is then transformed into 3D sound and haptics sources. In the last step, all the 3D sound and haptics sources are combined and conveyed to the user, using specialized wearable hardware and algorithms.

A functional prototype will be developed, followed by experimental validations and subsequent improvements, according to the feedback provided by visually impaired people, training specialists and neurologists. The product thus obtained will be sold as a hardware and software system, as well as some training courses that will help blind people use the system.

The consortium has the necessary complementary competences to design and develop the proposed system, to test the prototype, establish training protocols and also to commercialize the system as an intuitive and accessible final product.

Sound of Vision is a concept that goes beyond the state of the art of the visual sensory substitution systems, having the potential to become an affordable commercial product that will actually help blind people. This system can have an impressive social impact, improving the lifestyle of blind people, and also of their families and friends, on which they would otherwise depend.

H2020-EU.3.1. - SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Health, demographic change and well-being

The specific objective is to improve the lifelong health and well-being of all.

Lifelong health and well-being for all - children, adults and older people - high-quality, economically sustainable and innovative health and care systems, as part of welfare systems, and opportunities for new jobs and growth are the aims of the support provided to research and innovation in response to this challenge, and they will make a major contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy.

The cost of Union health and social care systems is rising, with care and prevention measures in all ages increasingly expensive. The number of Europeans aged over 65 is expected to nearly double from 85 million in 2008 to 151 million by 2060, and the number of those over 80 is expected to rise from 22 to 61 million in the same period. Reducing or containing these costs so that they do not become unsustainable depends partly on improving the lifelong health and well-being of all and therefore on the effective prevention, treatment and management of disease and disability.

Chronic conditions and diseases are major causes of disability, ill-health, health-related retirement and premature death, and present considerable social and economic costs.

In the Union, cardiovascular disease annually accounts for more than 2 million deaths and costs the economy more than EUR 192 billion while cancer accounts for a quarter of all deaths and is the number one cause of death for people aged 45-64. Over 27 million people in the Union suffer from diabetes and over 120 million from rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. Rare diseases remain a major challenge, affecting approximately 30 million people across Europe. The total cost of brain disorders (including, but not limited to those affecting mental health, including depression) has been estimated at EUR 800 billion. It is estimated that mental disorders alone affect 165 million people in the Union, at a cost of EUR 118 billion. These sums are expected to rise significantly, largely as a result of Europe's ageing population and the associated increases in neurodegenerative diseases. Environmental, occupational, life-style and socio-economic factors are relevant in several of these conditions with up to one third of the global disease burden estimated to be related to these.
Infectious diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria), are a global concern, accounting for 41 % of the 1,5 billion disability adjusted life years worldwide, with 8 % of these in Europe. Poverty-related and neglected diseases are also a global concern. Emerging epidemics, re-emerging infectious diseases (including water-related diseases) and the threat of increasing anti-microbial resistance must also be prepared for. Increased risks for animal-borne diseases should be considered.

Meanwhile, drug and vaccine development processes are becoming more expensive and less effective. Efforts to increase the success of drug and vaccine development include alternative methods to replace classical safety and effectiveness testing. Persistent health inequalities and the needs of specific population groups (e.g. those suffering from rare diseases) must be addressed, and access to effective and competent health and care systems must be ensured for all Europeans irrespective of their age or background.
Other factors, such as nutrition, physical activity, wealth, inclusion, engagement, social capital and work, also affect health and well-being, and a holistic approach must be taken.

Due to higher life expectancy the age and population structure in Europe will change. Therefore, research furthering lifelong health, active ageing and well-being for all will be a cornerstone of the successful adaptation of societies to demographic change.

Universitatea Politehnica Din Bucuresti (UPB)


Szechenyi Istvan University (SZE)


Fondazione Istituto Per L‘Interscambio Scientifico (I.S.I) (ISI)


Þjónustu-og þekkingarmiðstöð fyrir blinda, sjónskerta og daufblinda einstaklinga (NIB)


Info World SRL (IW)


Politechnika Lodzka (TUL)


Fundacja Instytut Rozwoju Regionalnego (FIRR)




Mynd af Rúnar Unnþórsson Rúnar Unnþórsson Prófessor 5254954 runson [hjá] Iðnaðarverkfræði-, vélaverkfræði- og tölvunarfræðideild, kennsla
Mynd af Árni Kristjánsson Árni Kristjánsson Prófessor 5255198 ak [hjá] Sálfræðideild