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Stephen Hicks

University Research Lecturer

Neuroscience and Visual Prosthetics


The aim of my research is to discover and develop technologies that have the potential to improve functional vision for people with severely impaired sight.

Over 40 million people world-wide are legally blind. We are developing a wearable technologies that can boost people's remaining vision so that they can read, see faces, and interact naturally in the world, even when it is difficult to see.

Using our understanding of how human vision works, we are building computer vision systems into small portable frames that could one day change the lives and outlook for many people both here and abroad.

I co-founded OxSight to commercialise the technology from my group. Our first set of smart glasses are due to launch in June 2018.

A New Way to See - TED

Smart glasses

RNIB Smart Glasses info page

A collaboration between the University of Oxford, the RNIB and Google


Article appeared in WIRED November 2017

BBC News

In 2016, I cofounded OxSight Ltd with Prof Philip Torr, Prof Christopher Kennard, Assoc.Prof Noah Russell and Mr Iain Wilson, to commercialise the technology developed in my group.

OxSight's mission is to open up the world to visually impaired individuals by by building wearable technology to boost vision in everyday situations. Our products use technologies such as augmented reality, computer vision, machine learning and AI, and we have a strong base in ophthalmology and product design.

I am the Head of Innovation and a Director on the Board. We are growing rapidly and have offices in London and Oxford. Our first product is due to launch mid 2018.

Current Grants

NIHR logo

Improving reading and face perception in AMD
NIHR i4i, Principal Investigator

Logo for the LOMID project, developing large OLED panels for visual prosthetics. Supported by H2020.

Developing OLED panels for applications such as visual prosthetics.
Horizon 2020, Co-Investigator

EVE: Expanded Visual Enhancement
Private Donation, Principal Investigator

Featured Publications

Improving mobility performance in low vision with a distance-based representation of the visual scene
Joram J van Rheede, Iain R Wilson, Rose I Qian, Susan M Downes, Christopher Kennard, Stephen L Hicks
IOVS 2015

Biological and clinical manifestations of Huntington's disease in the longitudinal TRACK-HD study: cross-sectional analysis of baseline data
Sarah J Tabrizi, Douglas R Langbehn, Blair R Leavitt, Raymund AC Roos, Alexandra Durr, David Craufurd, Christopher Kennard, Stephen L Hicks, Nick C Fox, Rachael I Scahill, Beth Borowsky, Allan J Tobin, H Diana Rosas, Hans Johnson, Ralf Reilmann, Bernhard Landwehrmeyer, Julie C Stout
Lancet Neurology, 2009

A depth-based head-mounted visual display to aid navigation in partially sighted individuals
Stephen L Hicks, Iain Wilson, Louwai Muhammed, John Worsfold, Susan M Downes, Christopher Kennard
PLoS ONE, 2013

Semantic Paint
Ondrej Miksik, Vibhav Vineet, Morten Lidegaard, Ram Prasaath, Matthias Nießner, Stuart Golodetz, Stephen L Hicks, Patrick Pérez, Shahram Izadi, Philip HS Torr
CHI, 2015

Simulating prosthetic vision: Optimizing the information content of a limited visual display
Joram J van Rheede, Christopher Kennard, Stephen L Hicks
Journal of vision, 2010

Full publication list available at Google Scholar

Transparent smart-glasses prototype