Across the world 246 million individuals live with impaired vision, restricting their ability to identify anything from road signs to words in a book. Though hand-held magnifiers and glasses are helpful to improve sight, they are not always a solution for long-term reading and can put strain on a person’s eyes. As a way to improve reading for the visually impaired, OrCam has created the MyEye, a wearable electronic device which converts images to computer readable text.
The MyEye operates by attaching onto an individual’s glasses to recognize objects or writing the user is looking at through a miniature camera. The device will process the specific image or text the user wishes to identify by them simply touching or pointing to the area.
To measure the device’s success, OrCam conducted a study with 12 legally blind people to perform a vision assessment test. The test consisted of 10 everyday activities including identifying objects and reading items such as books, emails, and signs. Each participant would complete the test twice, with and without the device, and would only receive a point if they completed the stage accurately.
Without the device, the average score of the exam was 2.5 out of 10, or 6 out of 10 if the participants used magnified glasses to help them. However, with the assistance of the MyEye the group average immediately improved to 9.5 out of 10, and even further improved after a week of using the device. Though this first study contained few participants to evaluate efficiency, future tests with an increased study size will further gage the improvement the device has.
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