In a recent article in The Australian titled “At $6000 a pair talking glasses gives hope to the blind” retired teacher Harry Simon, 71, discusses his experience trialing the OrCam MyEye assistive technology device.
Although the OrCam MyEye is not exactly “talking glasses for the blind,” the article refers to them as such. Since the OrCam consist of a smart camera that sits on a pair of eye glasses, it makes sense why one would think this way. Mr. Simon trialed the OrCam MyEye or “talking glasses for the blind” at the Royal Society for the Blind Canberra’s annual adaptive technology expo. As someone who is heartbroken that blindness has robbed him of the ability to read to his four grandchildren, the OrCam MyEye is a device that can really make a difference in Mr. Simon’s life. He said the OrCam has potential to significantly improve his life, giving him the freedom to receive information without having to go through the cumbersome process of scanning things into a computer.
Mr. Simon spoke about the small things in his life that have become difficult for him due to his vision loss such as recognizing faces. Although the OrCam cannot enable Mr. Simon to see the faces of his grandchildren again, the facial recognition feature can help him know who is in the room or who he is speaking to.
One thing that Mr. Simon emphasized in the article is how important his independence is saying “I try to be as independent as I can because it’s my nature and my personality, but there are some things I’m just physically not able to do.” OrCam can help Mr. Simon regain some of his independence by allowing him to read articles, mail, labels on his own and not having to ask his wife or someone else to help him.
According to Mr. Simon, technology like the OrCam MyEye also has the potential to enable other blind people to more easily overcome misconceptions about their abilities and participate in the workforce or go back to school.