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Smart Vision Glasses bags top prize at 2023 Infosys Foundation Social Innovation Awards

August 23rd, 2023:

Team “Smart Vision” won the prestigious Infosys Foundation Social Innovation contest (Aarohan) for 2023 in the Education category.

In 2021, Vision-Aid with support from the Palakurthi Foundation of USA provided the seed funding for the launch of this ground breaking AI-powered Smart Vision Glasses to its partner SHG Technologies of Bengaluru – the first such device in the Indian market, which is priced at less than a tenth of comparable Western counterparts, making it much more accessible to the visually impaired population in India.

The Award

Mr. Ramu Muthangi, CEO of SHG Technologies received the award from Mrs. Sudha Murthy in a glittering awards ceremony in Bengaluru. Infosys Foundation founder, Sudha Murthy noted that “While social innovations are less lauded than technological, they are what the country needs today”

This year, Infosys Foundation received a pool of over 2,400 submissions and these were diligently evaluated by an esteemed jury comprising of Padma Shri Mr. Arvind Gupta, an Indian toy inventor and science expert, Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director and Head of the Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS,

Ms. Sairee Chahal, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and Founder of SHEROES and Mahila Money, Mr. Sumit Virmani, Trustee, Infosys Foundation and Mr. Sunil Kumar Dhareshwar, Trustee, Infosys Foundation

About Smart Vision Glasses

Smart Vision Glass is an artificial intelligence-powered assistive device that helps people with visual disabilities identify objects and people, gauge distance, detect currency, read books and manuscripts in Indian regional languages, among other things.

This short Video about Smart Vision Glasses provides an excellent overview of its capabilities:

Vision-Aid’s role

After receiving the award, Mr. Ramu Muthangi acknowledged the significant role of Vision-Aid in the development of the innovation saying “We are most grateful to Vision-Aid, for their support which has helped us get started with Smart Vision Gen 1.0 in 2021 and their continuing support in 2022 and 2023 which has helped us bring out new and improved versions. When we wanted to take our very first step in this exciting journey, the visionary Vision-Aid Leadership saw the potential in this life changing technology for the visually impaired and provided the seed funding to produce the very first generation of Smart Vision Glasses. Their unwavering support continues to help us constantly improve the product. Not only did they provide the financial support without which we could not have been able to bring out Smart Vision Glasses to the Indian market– they also helped us do thorough evaluation and field testing of the device in Vision-Aid centers throughout India. The constant feedback cycle from SMEs from all Vision-Aid centers, has helped Smart Vision Glasses constantly improve year upon year. The Smart Vision Team expresses our heartfelt gratitude to Vision-Aid and to all of the Vision-Aid supporters and donors who have supported Smart Vision Glasses, for their support and the faith and trust placed in us from our inception and throughout the continuing evolution of Smart Vision Glasses”

Enablers

The Palakurthi Foundation of USA, based in Boston played a pivotal role in the Smart Vision Glasses journey by providing the seed funding for the project in 2021. Anuradha and Prashanth Palakurthi warmly congratulated the Smart Vision team and noted “Vision Aid continues to provide dignity and self-reliance to the visually impaired – through investing contributory dollars in new technologies, advanced research and coaching. The Palakurthi family is very proud to be associated with the organization. Congratulations to the founders Ramakrishna Raju & Revathy Ramakrishna and the impactful leadership here and in India.”

The Sushil Tuli Family Foundation is another key supporter of this innovative project, and has so far provided funding for a 200-device rollout to underprivileged visually impaired, which in turn helped to accelerate the development of Gen 2.0 of the product in 2022 and Gen 3 in 2023.

Smart Vision Glasses was also in the spotlight in Vision-Aid’s 2023 annual event, and renowned author Mr. Suresh (Sam) Mehta dedicated his “Bharat” book to this cause, encouraging his readers and fans to support the cause with a generous matching gift program. These donations will help provide Smart Vision Glasses to many more underprivileged visually impaired in India in 2023 and beyond, while also helping to fuel the development of newer versions.

Mr. Lalit Sudan, volunteer President of Vision-Aid said, “We all at Vision-Aid are delighted that AI Smart Vision Glasses were selected as winners of the best innovation award from the prestigious Infosys Foundation. These glasses provide a new level of independence and enjoyment to the visually impaired by enabling them to read, navigate their way around obstacles, recognize people and common objects. Our heartfelt thanks to Ramu and the SHG Technologies team for choosing to dedicate themselves to innovate in a field that will positively impact lives of millions in the years ahead. Heartiest congratulations!”

Ramakrishna Raju, Founder of Vision-Aid added “Big Congratulations to Ramu Muthangi and the entire Smart Vision / SHG team on this most well-deserved recognition. Your hard work, dedication and commitment is really paying off.  This is truly a proud moment for the entire Vision-Aid family, and we look forward to the continuing success of this innovative new assistive device which will help to enable, educate and empower the visually impaired to live with independence and dignity.

More information about Smart Vision Glasses can be found here:

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