Today’s advanced technology can greatly improve the quality of life for a person with low vision.
The world of technology has advanced so drastically and thankfully it has contributed greatly to our quality of living. This is also the case for people with low vision as there are technological inventions that have become available which greatly improve the quality of life for people who have visual impairments. The field of low vision is devoted to doing everything to support a high quality of life and helping people reclaim their independence despite their visual impairment. Nowadays, we’re fortunate to have technological devices to bring this mission to a whole new level. There are a variety of devices that have cutting edge technology that enable people with low vision to be able to enjoy life and contribute to society with dignity and independence.
There are several brands which make high quality low vision aids that can be a great help and some are detailed below.
OrCam is a company devoted to inventing cutting edge technology to improve the quality of life for people with visual impairments. Tens of thousands of people around the globe are benefitting from their devices, in twenty different languages. One such example is the device called MyEye which is around the size of a finger and can be magnetically attached to the side of your glasses. It can read text, recognize faces, and it can tell you what lies ahead of you by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. It works with voice commands and when you point at something you want it to read it has a speaker that reads to you or identifies the object or person in front of you. You can program the device to recognize certain faces and products which can be so helpful for so many different scenarios, including in social settings. OrCam can prevent you from feeling isolated from your family and friends and it enables you to interact with the world around you.
The OrCam Read is a wireless handheld device that has a smart camera and a visual sensor that reads any text which is on a printed surface or on a digital screen. It is an impressive device, but compared to the MyEye it is more basic in the sense that it has one purpose which is stated in its name, and that is to help with reading. It has LED illumination built in to help in low light environments and it can read lengthy text. The OrCam Read can read in real time and you can hear the text being read through the speaker on the device or through any bluetooth speaker. It can be activated with a point, click or voice command.
OrCam’s ability to provide devices that can read, identify faces and objects and then convey it into your ear, can dramatically increase your quality of life despite low vision.
IrisVision makes use of the latest available technologies, from wearable mobile devices to virtual reality technology, to create a device which provides low vision patients with increased assistance using the vision that remains. It uses a Samsung virtual reality headset along with a Samsung phone with special software to provide a visual experience that displays what you’re viewing on a screen in front of your eyes with high resolution. A great advantage of this technology is that it recognizes objects at various distances so you can use this to read your newspaper up close, to use your computer, to watch TV or to enjoy a show in the theater.
This device comes with so many helpful features, providing something beneficial for over twenty different eye conditions. There is an easy to use touch pad on the side of the device and there are commands that are said out loud so you can hear which setting is currently being used. Filter settings and various contrast settings are available, which many people with low vision find to be extremely helpful. There is a reading setting so you can choose if you want to read black text on a white background to help with contrast or if you prefer white text on a black background, that is an option too. A shield protects you and the camera from glare that can be experienced from bright lights or strong sunshine outdoors. Additionally, there is a wide visual field of seventy degrees which enables you to enjoy quality vision.
The IrisVision also has a feature where a bubble appears on the screen and you can make the bubble bigger or smaller and then you can zoom in on the object in the bubble while still seeing its surroundings. Alternatively, you can take a screenshot of what you’re viewing and then zoom in or zoom out on it and use a variety of settings to view it as you wish. You can also customize the different modes that the device offers. IrisVision’s software also allows for future upgrades as needed, meaning it will be able to serve you well for a long time and only get more effective.
IrisVision has something for seemingly anyone with low vision and therefore it can greatly enhance the quality of life for so many.
eSight makes electronic eyewear for low vision patients which uses smart algorithms, high resolution screens, and cutting edge cameras. It’s FDA approved and a hands free device that is worn like a regular pair of glasses so it can be used while doing activities on the go. It works by stimulating the parts of the retina that are still working and it captures the image you see and then sharpens it. The clear image is then displayed on the two screens in front of your eyes in a much more crisp way which allows you to see in real time the details of objects that are either up close or far in the distance. It differs in this way from many other devices, as it stimulates the remaining vision as opposed to working around the limitations via cameras or other devices.
This device provides digital magnification, color filters and there are custom built in settings, such as a setting for outdoor vision or for watching TV. The eSight comes with a remote control and an app that works with Android and iOS and it has many of its own features. One example is that the eSight can take pictures and videos and you can save it to the gallery on the app. You can also take a screenshot just to be able to look at it as it’s frozen in one spot but it can be used in the moment and does not need to be saved to the gallery. There is an eReader that reads PDF files. Additionally, there is an HDMI port so you can attach it to various entertainment systems, such as your Roku or Playstation and you can view the images on your eSight screen.
A nice feature of the way the eSight is built is that it promotes using natural peripheral vision. You tilt your head downwards when you want to use the eSight for fully enhanced vision through the headset and then you can tilt your head upwards when you want to use your natural vision and to make face to face contact with people.
A clinical study was done on the effect of using the eSight and how it impacts the person’s visual function and the results include:
The eSight has proven to be very helpful in enhancing the quality of life for so many people with low vision.