April 22, 2014
OrCam harnesses the power of Artificial Vision to compensate for lost visual abilities. OrCam is a sensor that sees what is in front of you, understands what information you seek and provides it to you through a bone-conduction earpiece.
OrCam is a smart camera mounted on the frames of your eyeglasses, which “sees” text, recognizes objects and “whispers” in your ear.
The OrCam device enables you to read books or newspapers, verify money note denominations, and even identify which product or item you are pointing at.
Easy to Use. All you have to do is point.
OrCam can read printed text, in real time.
Recognize your personal objects.
You can personalize your OrCam device by teaching it to recognize specific objects around you.
In the future, OrCam will be equipped with facial recognition, the ability to recognize places, colors and much more.
For more info: http://www.orcam.com/
a bone-conduction earpiece.
April 5, 2014
Scientists at Trinity College Dublin have made a major breakthrough with important implications for sufferers of the eye disease Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which can cause central blindness in sufferers.
April 3, 2014
The following article is by Lauren Tappan:
Every time I have to purchase AT equipment, I have to do a lot
of research on my own. We went to the Raleigh Lion’s Club for a look at Davinici and it’s relationship to the I-Pad.
This week I will get a look at Optelec ClearView Plus Speech and Prodigy.
It seems that there is a new generation of AT machines that can act as a CCTV, magnify, read and save text. I have a library of books, essays and articles I want to read quickly. I could scan this text and download each page to my computer. After more steps, I could then read the page using Zoom Text. These new AT machines allow me to read the text immediately without all of these steps. Some of these machines can interface with Apple iOS devices which means that your AT world is portable.. In this way the low-vision user can replace several AT devices with one machine.
You can arrange to have a demonstration of this AT equipment at the NC Assistive Technology Center in Raleigh, NC., The Industry for the Blind in Winston-Salem, NC or you can contact the Community Low-Vision Center at the UNC Kittner Eye Center in Chapel Hill,NC.
We will see where all of this leads me. More to come.
March 23, 2014
The following article is by Lauren Tappan:
I met with Sharon Giovanzo, Director of RLCB, and John Sherwood, Technical Trainer, at the Raleigh Lions Club Building (RLCB). John showed me the Divinci and we got a chance to look at accessible features on his Ipad. I was not able to see how the Divinci interacts with his Ipad but I hope to do this at a later visit. I understand that the NC Assistive Technology also has a Divinci to demonstrate.
The Divinci is quite an impressive piece of AT Equipment. It appears that the Divinci can act as a CCTV, capturing texts and reading them to you. The camera also makes it available to see objects in the room. There is also a way to have the Divinci directly interact with your Ipad. This means that you will be able to read the navigational toolbar and apps on the Ipad, which has been a problem for low-vision users in the past. I still have other equipment to evaluate before making a final decision, but when your CCTV is too old to repair, you have to do a lot of research to decide what is the next piece of AT equipment that you will need to buy.
For more info: http://www.enhancedvision.com/low-vision-product-line/davinci-all-in-one-hd-video-magnifier-with-text-to-speech.html
Phone for a demo : (888) 811-3161
March 22, 2014
8 predictors were utilized to create a macular degeneration risk scoring system :
presence of pigment abnormality,
maximum drusen size.
For more detailed info, http://www.2minutemedicine.com/risk-score-system-accurate-in-predicting-macular-degeneration-risk/
March 15, 2014
Optometry and Vision Science reports in their May 2013 issue on a study called, Blink Rate, Incomplete Blinks and Computer Vision Syndrome that “Whereas Computer Vision Syndrome symptoms are associated with a reduced blink rate, the completeness of the blink may be equally significant. Because instructing a patient to increase his or her blink rate may be ineffective or impractical, actions to achieve complete corneal coverage during blinking may be more helpful in alleviating symptoms during computer operation.”
They found that computer users blink less often and less completely.With less blinking and incomplete blinking there is less lubrication of the eye which leads to that irritated eye feeling that my father-in-law experienced.
Computer Vision Syndrome commonly affects almost anyone who uses electronic screens.
For more info, http://www.webrn-maculardegeneration.com/WebRNMacular_Degeneration_News-computer-eye-fatigue-3.html
March 8, 2014
A man blind since birth is taking up a surprising new hobby: photography. His newfound passion is thanks to a system that turns images into sequences of sound. The technology not only gives “sight” to the blind, but also challenges the way neurologists think the brain is organized.
In 1992, Dutch engineer Peter Meijer created vOICe, an algorithm that converts simplegrayscale images into musical soundscapes. (The capitalized middle letters sound out “Oh, I see!”). The system scans images from left to right, converting shapes in the image into sound as it sweeps, with higher positions in the image corresponding to higher sound frequencies. For instance, a diagonal line stretching upward from left to right becomes a series of ascending musical notes. While more complicated images, such as a person sitting on a lawn chair, at first seem like garbled noise, with enough training users can learn to “hear” everyday scenes.
In 2007, neuroscientist Amir Amedi and his colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem began training subjects who were born blind to use vOICe. Despite having no visual reference points, after just 70 hours of training, the individuals went from “hearing” simple dots and lines to “seeing” whole images such as faces and street corners composed of 4500 pixels.
Amedi’s team recently released a successor to vOICe, called EyeMusic, as a free iPhone app. The new algorithm produces more pleasant tones and can even provide color information.
For more info: http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/03/computer-program-allows-blind-see-sound