Taking a Chance on Technology: The Story of Marc Bilton

2016-05-17 | By Orcam Staff

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Taking a Chance on Technology: Marc Bilton's Story - OrCam
marc bilton with orcam

Diagnosed with Usher’s syndrome at a young age, Marc Bilton has always had trouble hearing. It was only at the age of 19 when he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa which caused him to start to lose his sight as well. His eyes have been deteriorating ever since.


Marc used to teach Health and Social Care to teenagers who were looking for careers in the health field in England. Without technology to help him teach, Marc relied on the respect of his students to enable him to run the class smoothly. The students not only respected him but sometimes were curious about his condition and asked questions. The school did not allow Marc to grade papers on the computer so he had an assistant teacher who would read him everything. The problem with this system is that it took a lot of time, as the assistant read every single word to him.  Nine years ago, Marc decided to give up teaching.


After discovering OrCam on Facebook, Ruth, Marc’s wife, contacted the OrCam team to learn about the product.  After receiving a fake iPod off an internet purchase, Marc and Ruth were very wary about technology that they found online. They decided, however, to give OrCam MyEye a chance. When they first saw the OrCam MyEye in person, their concerns went away. “It was far too technical and detailed to be a scam” says Marc “I was so impressed that I bought it and I haven’t looked back.”


Marc really enjoys the facial recognition feature of the OrCam MyEye. “I like having people over for dinner and being able to tell them apart” says Marc. Marc’s friend has 2 daughters ages 14 and 18 that look very similar. He programmed them into the OrCam MyEye and it was able to tell them apart with no problem. Marc was so impressed that he wanted to see if the OrCam MyEye could tell twins apart.  He had twins, Harry and Oscar, come over and programmed them in.  The OrCam MyEye successfully differentiated between the two boys.  The twins’ mother was staggered that a little camera could tell them apart when most of her friends can’t even do that.


Marc now stays at home and enjoys using his OrCam MyEye to read newspapers, books, PowerPoint presentations and more. Although Marc is quite happy being retired, he says that if he had the OrCam during his teaching days, life would have been much easier. Instead of an assistant reading to him for hours, he would have been able to grade papers alone much quicker. Although he did not have the OrCam MyEye when he was working, he is happy that now he gets to enjoy the new found independence that the OrCam MyEye has given him. “When I got my OrCam, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop” says Marc “it has made such a difference in my life”.


Contributed by: Hannah Ziring, OrCam Community Manager

marc bilton with orcam
Marc Bilton is one of the first OrCam users in the United Kingdom. He enjoys using his OrCam MyEye every day and is happy with the difference it has made in his life!