Posted by Luke Scriven on 4/22/2019
The world of assistive technology is consistently interesting because it is consistently changing. Just a few years ago, handheld and desktop electronic magnifiers reigned supreme, with the main differences being between the size of a screen, resolution of a camera, or inclusion of OCR/TTS. Since then there has been an explosion in wearable devices which was kicked off by eSight, and has recently seen the introduction of the NuEyes e2 and Zoomax's Acesight. Along with this, every year sees more and more people getting on board with the use of smartphones, which have apps often for free that can turn your device into a veritable Swiss army knife of low vision and blindness tools.
So, this is where we are now - but what could be in store for us in the future? Join us as we speculate about what the future will bring...
Posted by Luke Scriven on 3/11/2019
Wearable electronic devices are all the rage in the low vision assistive technology field right now, and for good reason. These devices can act as a Swiss army knife device by offering improved vision at distance, intermediate and close-up. Use them for reading, watching TV, seeing people's faces, playing cards and really anything you can think of (except driving!). There are a number of wearable electronic glasses on the market now - eSight, IrisVision, NuEyes, Jordy...So how does Zoomax's Acesight stack up?
Posted by Luke Scriven on 2/22/2019
We featured the Orcam MyEye 2.0 on this blog before, and loved its portability and great features, including OCR/TTS (the ability to read aloud printed text), facial recognition, bill identification, color identification, and product recognition. The best thing about this is that the device is less than the size of your finger, making it super portable and able to be used wherever you are. Want to read in your favorite chair? No problem! Want to go to a restaurant and read a menu? Easy! Want to go to a store and identify products? Done! Want to read in bed at night? You got it!
Posted by Luke Scriven on 2/5/2019
For reading when you're visually impaired a CCTV (electronic magnifier) can be an invaluable tool. Featuring cameras which project the image of what they're looking at onto a screen, CTVs are able to magnify things, change the color of them for better contrast, increase their brightness and sometimes even read text aloud to you! When it comers to CCTVs, the bigger the screen the better, as you can fit more text on a larger screen making it easier to read for longer. This is where the Acrobat HD Ultra stands out, with its huge 27" screen!
Posted by Luke Scriven on 1/31/2019
The CCTV market is always competitive, with companies vying to bring out the next essential magnifier to assist people with vision loss. Humanware is one of the big players in the market, and currently has some of our favorite handhelds - the Explore 5 and the Explore 8. But can they bring the magic to the desktop CCTV market?
Posted by Luke Scriven on 1/25/2019
Technology is a great asset to those who are blind or visually impaired, helping to give back independence where it may have seemed that there was no hope. The down side to this is that technology costs, and is unfortunately not covered by services such as Medicare and Medicaid. To help with this The Chicago Lighthouse offers used or ex-demo equipment at highly discounted prices!
Posted by Luke Scriven on 1/17/2019
Age related eye diseases are the most common cause of visual impairment in America (https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html), and macular degeneration is an eye disease which is particularly common among our patients at The Chicago Lighthouse. As macular degeneration is age related, you are more likely to experience it as you age, and as it is a degenerative condition the disease will get progressively worsen over time. So with that in mind, how does macular degeneration effect your vision, and what can you do about it?
Posted by Luke Scriven on 1/10/2019
eSight has been a leader in bringing electronic wearable technology to people with a visual impairment, but their devices have always been out of reach for some because of their price. Now, with the low vision wearable market getting more competitive every day, eSight have risen to the challenge and made a huge cut to the price of their eSight 3 device!
Posted by Luke Scriven on 12/26/2018
Christmas day is done and the Holiday season is nearly over...but it's not done yet!
Posted by Luke Scriven on 12/18/2018
When you have a visual impairment, it may seem that you will never be able to read again, and that can be a bitter pill to swallow. We rely on reading every day - whether it is reading for practical purposes such as reading our mail and reading restaurant menus, or reading for pleasure such as books and magazines. That's why reading is the number one thing that people come to us for help with in The Chicago Lighthouse's Assistive Technology Center. Luckily, there are a number of different devices available to help with this very problem!
Posted by Luke Scriven on 12/11/2018
The holidays are here right on time, and with them comes the question of what to buy for friends and family. Luckily, The Chicago Lighthouse is here to help! We have lots of great gift ideas available for the special person with a visual impairment in your life, from inexpensive everyday items all the way up to the latest assistive technologies. Here's some great gift ideas for this season!
Posted by Luke Scriven on 12/5/2018
The Orcam 2.0 has released, the latest generation of OCR/TTS devices from Orcam. But what is OCR/TTS I hear you ask? Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Text-to-Speech (TTS) are the technologies which allow a device to take a picture of a page of text and read it aloud to you. Sound futuristic? This technology has been around since the 1970s, but Orcam have taken it to a new level with their 2.0 models.