For decades, technology has promised to revolutionize the way humans live, and when you consider the impact of computers, the Internet, smartphones, tablets, worldwide communication and robotics, it's done just that.
It's also been a boon for people who have trouble with vision, hearing and similar challenges. Speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology, sound amplifiers, and even thought-controlled robotics are making great strides. And now, it's gotten even better for people who are legally blind.
A new product called eSight can restore vision to people who suffer from low vision (scientists are working on other ways to bring back sight in people with total vision loss). It's kind of like a hearing aid for your eyes.
eSight says the system can help people with:
- Macular Degeneration
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Stargardt’s Disease
- Ocular Albinism
- Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy
- Cone-Rod Dystrophy
- Some forms of Glaucoma, Retinitis Pigmentosa
So, how does it work?
The eSight system consists of a headset with LED screens that sits in front of the user's eyes. A camera in the headset captures what's in front of the user and sends it to a small processing unit.
The processing unit lets the user make adjustments to the image: zoom, contrast and color, to help the person focus in on exactly what they want.
Here's a video showing the entire system.
Does it work? Here's Air Force veteran Mark Cornell using the system after 20 years of legal blindness.
You can see more user stories at eSight's website. If you want to help bring this technology to people who can't afford it, eSight also accepts donations.