The Advantages of orCam

June 23, 2017

OrCam’s mission is to harness the power of artificial vision by incorporating pioneering technology into a wearable platform which improves the lives of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, have a reading disability or people with other conditions. The breakthrough OrCam MyEye device provides a visual aid through a discreet, wearable platform and easy-to-use interface.

OrCam was jointly founded by CTO Professor Amnon Shashua and CEO Ziv Aviram, who are also the co-founders of accident avoidance system Mobileye. The OrCam MyEye device was launched in the U.S. in 2015.

An easy, unobtrusive fit on any eyeglasses frame, OrCam’s breakthrough conversion of visual information into the spoken word enables you to instantly and discreetly read text, recognize faces, as well as identify product and money notes.

Activated by a simple, intuitive gesture-pointing your finger or pressing a simple button- OrCam MyEye makes newspapers, books, computer and smartphone screen, restaurant menus, labels on supermarket products and street signs accessible- in real time.

Following a quick one-time entry process, previously stored faces or people who are important to you- family members, friends, co-workers- are seamlessly recognized and announced by your own voice tag once they come into the OrCam MyEye smart camera’s view. Up to 100 faces of individuals can be stored.

OrCam MyEye stores up to 150 of your favorite products- such as supermarket items, drugstore necessities and credit cards- and instantly communicates them through your own voice tag, enabling an independent shopping experience.

“For me, OrCam just feels like it’s 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 OrCam is when my son, who is four, 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. “


Potential Treatment for RP and AMD

October 4, 2016

New research published in Cell Reports identifies a potential treatment target for blinding diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration. In the study, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine explored how the retina’s photoreceptors — the rods and cones responsible for detecting light, color, contrast, and sharpness — are damaged over the course of these diseases.

Lin, Apte and colleagues at Washington Univ. found that defects in the same NAD pathway appear to be involved in several different diseases of the retina. When they treated damaged photoreceptor cells in mice with a second molecule called NMN — a precursor molecule that boosts levels of NAD — the cells’ degeneration ceased and vision was restored.

“This is exciting because we may have found a reason why these highly metabolically active cells are susceptible to damage and death when the NAD pathway does not function optimally,” said Apte, also a professor of developmental biology and neuroscience and of medicine.

The pathway offers a promising target for therapies for multiple retinal diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, a cause of blindness that impairs vision over many years and for which there is currently no cure.

for more info:

Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment in Cuba

August 3, 2016

The Cubans claim they are treating RP successfully. A Canadian ophthalmology journal casts doubts.

One controversial treatment, currently available in Cuba, consists of a combination of ozone therapy (removing a small amount of blood from the eye, adding ozone, and replacing it a short while later), electrical stimulation, dietary supplements and so-called “oligoelements”, and eye surgery under a local anesthetic. The rationale behind these procedures is to improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the affected parts of the eye.

As yet, this procedure has not been subject to critical review and, as such, remains outside the medical mainstream. The Cuban clinic where it has been performed has repeatedly refused to show the procedure to anyone outside of the clinic. As such, critical review is very difficult. There have been reports of physical damage to some patients including detached retinas, crossed eyes, and sensitivity to light.

Because of this, the RP Research Foundation in Canada and the RP Foundation Fighting Blindness in the U.S. have called the procedure into question.

For more info:


Bionic eye restores man’s vision

July 3, 2016

This article is from

Steve McMillin learned at age 32 he had Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic disease that would stop his retinas from functioning. By 49, he was completely blind.

He kept up to date on new research emerging and heard about the bionic retina, a retinal prosthesis device that sends electrical impulses to the remaining retinal cells and restores limited vision patterns.

“They take the lens off the top of your eye, remove the vitrious fluid and install a six-by-ten grid of electrodes in your eye,” said McMillin.

Last June, Steve became the twentieth patient in the US to receive the device when he had his surgery at Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute

He can see vague, black and white images.

“So you can tell, well, there’s the road, there’s a driveway, there’s a mailbox, there’s a shrub. Am I veering off track? It’s another tool in the toolbox and, boy, it’s a big tool,” McMillin says.

When asked what the most important thing he saw after ten years of blindness was, he replied, “To go out in the moonlight and see your wife’s face.”



Low Vision Seminar at Chapel Hill Library

April 17, 2016

The following is from Lauren Tappan.

When: Friday May 6, 2016

Where: Chapel Hill Public Library

                100 Library Drive

                 Chapel Hill, NC  27514

Time:11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Sponsored by the Community Low Vision Center and Triangle Disability Awareness Council


If you are totally blind, have low vision, or know someone who does, you should try to attend.  We will have representatives from Vanda Pharmaceutical available to answer questions.  Lynn shields will also present another segment on what it is like to live with this disorder. 

Other professionals who deal with blindness, low vision, sleep disorders, or people who have traumatic head injuries should try to attend. 

If you have any questions, or would like to make a reservation, please reply to this email or call Lynn Shields at 984-974-2058.  Reservations are due by Friday, April 22nd

Please feel free to pass this information along to anyone you think may be interested in attending.

Thank you for reading and I hope you are able to attend. 


Lynn Shields

Community Low Vision Center

Low Vision Services Coordinator



January 17, 2016

We just reviewed the WordPress statistics for this Low Vision Assistive Technology website.

We have had 60,000 views of our info since it was created about 5 years ago. That’s not bad for a print website addressing Low Vision.

We currently have 267 viewers from the US, spread across the country.

In addition, we have 215 more viewers from 40 more countries all around the world.

Between 400 and 450 of these 482 viewers read 700 to 1,100 articles every month.

We have posted over 700 articles to date.

We are still finding 5 to 10 new articles each month to share with our readership.

We are loyally committed to serving the Low Vision community throughout the world.

John Logan and Lauren Tappan

A Possible Cure For Blindness: The Ocata Stem Cells

October 4, 2015
  • Ocata has developed methods to culture and deliver retinal progenitor cells.
  • Early, unpublished animal data suggest retinal progenitors can reverse blindness caused by degenerative diseases.
  • If shown effective, the retinal cells have a huge number of potential applications.
  • Ocata has received funding for retinal progenitor development in the orphan disease retinitis pigmentosa.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa has no approved, effective therapy, and represents a potential market over $1 billion per year.

Ocata Therapeutics  has stated in no uncertain terms that its embryonic stem cell -derived retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is its major program, and it has the potential to address an array of macular disorders, including age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt’s disease, macular edema, and myopic macular degeneration.

for more info: