Have you ever heard of facial recognition glasses? Well, for people with vision loss or face blindness, glasses that can help them recognize people’s faces can make a real difference in their lives.
The OrCam MyEye, although not exactly facial recognition glasses, is a smart camera that attaches to any pair of glasses and has the ability to recognize faces among other things such as products and text. Many people know that losing your vision can make recognizing faces difficult but have you ever heard of someone who has a condition that affects their ability to recognize faces?
What is face blindness?
Also known as prosopagnosia, face blindness refers to severe deficit in recognizing familiar people from their face. Many people who suffer from face blindness report difficulties in processing age, gender, emotional expression or following the direction of a person’s eye gaze. Some people cope well with face blindness and even come up with different ways to help them function effectively in everyday life. Others however, have a difficult time with daily activities. Some people avoid social interactions and report difficulty in interpersonal relationships.
What causes face blindness?
The condition usually starts after someone experiences neurological damage due to a stroke or head injury. However, there are also people who have developmental prosopagnosia. These people can be born with the condition or develop it over time.
How many people have face blindness?
Researchers at Harvard University and the University of London have done research on prosopagnosia and have found evidence that the condition, once thought to be exceedingly rare, may affect up to 2 percent of the population – suggesting that millions of people may be face-blind.
What is the treatment for prosopagnosia?
There is currently no formal treatment for face blindness, however the OrCam MyEye can help. Someone suffering from face blindness can use the OrCam MyEye as a type of “facial recognition glasses “that they can use to recognize the faces of people they are speaking to or people in the room. This allows them to feel more comfortable in social situations. It might not be a cure, but the OrCam MyEye can help people with face blindness live fuller lives.