I can read any information at any time with OrCam MyEye

2018-05-08 | By Orcam Staff

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I can read any information at any time with OrCam MyEye - OrCam

My name is Johanna Herranen, and I live in Helsinki, Finland. I was born with a condition called acromatopsia, which means that the cones in my retina do not function. I have some light perception, but otherwise cannot see, and have been blind for my entire life.


Growing up, my twin and I attended a regular school, and also learned to read Braille. We received reading materials from Celia, a national center for accessible books and publishing in Finland. But, often the books wouldn’t arrive in time, plus we would need twice as much material for me and my twin to use.


To be honest, being blind can be really challenging. I can’t read my mail. I can’t read street signs. I can’t read restaurant menus. I need help almost everywhere I go.


I use a lot of different technology and aids – I have a guide dog, I use Braille display and voiceover, and I rely on a lot of apps on my phone. But I have a right to read like everyone else, not just listen.


I first came across OrCam at an exhibition in Finland in November. I tried the demo device and – wow! I could read text on the walls and recognize products.


Using the OrCam MyEye feels like entering a new world. It’s even overwhelming – in a good way – because I never knew there is so much information everywhere. It’s totally new to me.


I’ve always wondered how sighted people find their way in places they don’t know – and thanks to OrCam I realized it’s because of the signs everywhere! Everything has a sign, and sighted people don’t have any magical powers.


I’m able to travel far more independently. I can find out my train information from the information screens in the station. I travel a lot inside Helsinki, and I taught my OrCam MyEye it to recognize my taxi card, credit card, and bus card. Plus, I use it to recognize money notes.


I can also read any information at any time. I took the train to the airport and discovered a newspaper on the table – and I realized I didn’t need to ignore it, I could read it. I live in central Helsinki, where there are lots of restaurants. I spent hours reading all the menus in the windows – just because I could!


I’ve used the OrCam MyEye to make sense of all the papers and cards in my bag. I never wanted to bother anyone with these things before, and now I don’t need to either.


Technology like OrCam MyEye gives me the chance to do so much more, and it’s an amazing experience to discover how much information is now available to me.