MyEye, the artificial vision device from OrCam, is receiving an upgrade. OrCam are releasing new software to coincide with National Eye Health Week.
OrCam launched MyEye in the United States in 2015. Children as well as adults can use the device.
What can it do?
MyEye can read any printed or digital text. It can also recognise people and even places or objects. For example it can recognise the user’s favourite products in a supermarket.
The new upgrade improves the software behind the camera still further. New features include:
- Improved facial recognition
- Colour identification
- Automatic page detection
Does it work?
Sarah Matthews suffered a head-injury which left her blind in 2014. She said: “For me, OrCam just feels like an immediate solution to all the problems I face as a blind person.
“It was amazing how quickly I was able to use the device.
“The best thing about the MyEye is when my son runs up to me, it gives me a little warning that he is coming, so that I know that there is a hug coming.
“It’s just a great experience.”
How does it work?
MyEye is essentially a smart camera. It attaches to the user’s glasses and uses optical character reading technology to read any printed material. When the user points to text the camera scans it and reads out the words in real time.
The device doesn’t need a smartphone app or Wi-Fi. OrCam claim it is the only wearable assistive technology which can do this.
Why do we need artificial vision devices?
The RNIB say over two million people in the UK suffer from sight loss. They estimate this figure will double by 2050.
Sight loss can affect people of all ages. But, unsurprisingly, it affects more as we age.
Sight loss affects:
- 20% of people aged over 75
- 50% of people over the age of 90
- Women account for two thirds of those living with sight loss
- Black and ethnic minorities are especially at risk from some causes of sight loss
- An adult with a learning disability is ten times more likely to suffer from sight loss
OrCam’s Dr Yonatan Wexler said: “Vision is the main sense through which we experience the world.
“There are many things that someone who loses his or her sight or has impaired vision is unable to experience.
“It’s very hard to live like that.”