Fauxsee Innovations Wins STTR Funding to Develop Navigation Aid for Visually Impaired

September 19th, 2017 by Rebecca Todd

Magnolia-based Fauxsee Innovations has won a one-year, $226,000 Small Business Technology Transfer award from the National Eye Institute for a clinical trial involving their Roboglasses® device.

Fauxsee Innovations is a research and development company that specializes in creating assistive devices for the blind and visually impaired.

Over 46% of the 11.4 million visually impaired people in America experience head injury while in motion at least once a month; 23% require medical attention. Roboglasses were originally designed to help people with visual impairments navigate more safely by alerting them of obstacles in their upper body pathway during their daily activities.

Fauxsee Innovations’ Brandon Foshee

Company Background
Roboglasses® developers have a unique understanding of the needs of the blind because Fauxsee President/CEO Brandon Foshee is totally blind, making him not only a creator but also a user of his products.

For this NIH STTR project, Fauxsee Innovations will be working with Dr. Nicholas Giudice of the University of Maine. Giudice is an expert in development of non-visual assistive technology and orientation and mobility for the blind.

The company is currently finishing initial development and starting testing of the Roboglasses. “With the Phase I award, Fauxsee hopes to prove efficacy of our Roboglasses® device. If our trial is successful, it will be a huge step in receiving FDA approval so that our device can be covered under health insurance and Medicare,” Foshee said. By ensuring coverage through health insurance or Medicare, Roboglasses® will be affordable to people who need them.

State Funding

Fauxsee Innovations also received a $20,000 Technology Development Program award through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Division of Science and Technology. “This TDP funding will be used initially to fund the engineering effort needed to conduct the upcoming human trial,” said Foshee.

ASBTDC Assistance on STTR and TDP Applications

“Rebecca Norman of the ASBTDC was there every step of the way providing crucial guidance, which led to our successful outcomes. Frankly I don’t know how small businesses could compete in the innovative research world without this kind of help,” said Foshee.

Advice for Prospective STTR Applicants

Foshee’s advice for new NIH STTR program applicants is to take advantage of free, state-funded agencies (such as the ASBTDC and Innovate Arkansas). He noted that a strong project team and work plan were key components of their awarded NIH STTR application.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R41EY027623. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.