Revolutionary AR Headset Helps the Legally Blind See
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Augmented and virtual reality devices are the latest trend in consumer tech — but one company’s smart glasses stand out. Rather than let users explore a digital world, the eSight headset aims to help those with vision impairment to see the real one.
The headset, created by the Ottawa-based eSight Eyewear, relies on high-speed, HD cameras that capture everything in front of them. That feed is then processed and enhanced by proprietary algorithms and is displayed on two OLED screens in front of the wearer’s eyes — with virtually no latency. The result is a device that can help the legally blind or individuals who are visually impaired read, write, view a loved one’s face, and a lot more. Basically, it allows them to see, thus enabling “all activities of daily living,” according to the company’s website.
The latest iteration of the platform, the eSight 3, is fully portable, lightweight and boasts a six-hour battery life and remote operability. It’s also designed to focus automatically, allowing a seamless transition between near and far objects, and it has a manual zoom feature. While earlier versions of the headset were bulkier and more expensive, the company has taken advantage of recent technological breakthroughs in the AR and VR sphere to improve the device, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There are some caveats currently. The eSight 3 retails for around $10,000, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll be covered by insurance. But the company wants that to change, and it’s recently unveiled an affordability program. One day, the company says, it hopes that everyone with vision impairment will be able to use the device — regardless of their ability to afford it. Whether that ever becomes the case, it’s a noble goal, and there’s no denying that eSight and its tech are both extremely promising.