Computerized Glasses Help Vision-Impaired

An Ottawa company is developing computerized glasses to help those with severe visual impairments maximize the vision they have left.

The glasses, which look like an oversize pair of sunglasses, have a high-resolution camera on the outside and tiny LCD screens on the inside that project images to the wearer’s eyes.  The glasses will also zoom in on and replay what has been seen with the press of a button.

The company, eSight Corp., received a $500,000 grant from the Ontario government to develop its evSpex product, and hopes to start commercial production next year.

Before the image is projected, it’s custom-processed by a tiny computer.  “So that when it’s presented to a person who has diseased eyes … it’s presented to the pieces of their vision that are most functional,” said eSight Corp. company president Rob Hilkes.

Because the device continually records a loop of video, the user can save the last 10 seconds of what they saw at the press of a button so they can look again at something that went by too quickly.  The video can be viewed later on a DVD player or computer.   Users can also zoom in on certain things in their field of view

The product is expected to be able to help people with age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa.  In the future, the company hopes to market the technology to people with normal vision as wearable binoculars, night vision goggles or video gaming devices.

SOURCE:  High-tech glasses help the nearly blind see, CBC News, Sept. 11, 2009, http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/09/11/ottawa-esight-glasses-technology-company-blind.html

Update – More Technology

Another new technology designed to detect glaucoma earlier may soon be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

According to the press release from the manufacturing company, Paradigm Medical Industries, Inc., the Paramax is moving through the FDA approval process.  This machine is called “the next generation of standard ocular eletrophysiology utilized for early glaucoma detection.”  This device has been designed for office use and promises that it requires only 2 minutes to run a diagnostic test.

Source: http://www.paradigm-medical.com/

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