3D Print UK reports they've been working on a special project that has been able to provide limited sight to the vision impaired.
The concept is to simplify the visual field by displaying a coarse set of pixels on the inside lenses of a pair of prototyped glasses, done, of course, with 3D printing. The pixels are shown with a brightness corresponding to the distance to each spot in the visual field. Here's how it works:
The design is not to give sight back, rather to take advantage of what sight the user has. It does this by sensing both depth and movement. Cameras and sensors pick up the objects in the room, they then display the objects in the room on a transparent OLED screen in a more basic colour and apply brightness to the objects that are closer and darken the objects that are further away, thus giving depth perception to the user that before would have been a blur. this greatly increases the users spacial awareness allowing them to navigate places like busy high streets with greater ease and awareness.
While electronics and software have become very powerful tools, they are made even more useful when you're able to quickly house them in functional shapes for worthy purposes such as this.
Via 3D Print UK (Hat tip to Nick)