LEGALLY blind is much different than full blindness, just to remind any skimmers here.
I hope the next model has the bling where the light goes back and forth across the front.
One of my classmates in college got one for her 10 year old son. They crowdfunded for the glasses and the trip to Toronto (where the company was located). When he tried them on, the first thing he said was “Mom, your nose is so big!” Now he can read and do schoolwork unassisted. Only drawback is he could only wear them about 15 minutes at a time (at first) because he got headaches from it. Yay science!
A friend of mine has something like these because of his impaired sight. The goal was to get a pair before his daughter would graduate high school so he could see her receive her diploma. We did a bunch of fund raisers for him and he ended up with enough money for 2 pairs so he donated the left over money so that someone else could get a pair as well. Amazing technology!
One thing that made me laugh with the pair he got was that he can stream television and games to the headset as well. Like I said before, simply amazing technology to give someone back the gift of vision again.
"are so effective that in some cases the previously blind person may have the best sight in the room when wearing them."
There's an episode of Futurama for everything. Next thing you know, people will have to sew themselves back together and revert back to their disabilities to feel human again.
I used to work with a group developing similar technology and I'm always a little skeptical of these articles. These devices do/can help but it really depends on the patient and what caused their vision to be reduced in the first place. The way the eSight glasses work involves magnifying the image and enhancing contrast with post processing and displaying them on OLED panels, much like a VR headset (Rift/Vive etc). Magnification + contrast enhancement is just about the best we can do for patients with dense visual deficits. We've been using telescopes that can be fitted onto glasses or clipped on for a long time, but this only solves one of these issues, the magnification.
To the point that she can 'see the equivalent of 20/20' is a bit misleading, sort of. She may be able to read a 20/20 line of text but with great magnification (and therefore field constriction, like looking through a telescope) and the enhanced contrast. It is pretty laborious to read small print, but it's true, it does help.
The points in the article talking about a person being blind having the 'best vision in the room' is also a little bothersome. They mentioned the patient in the article was 'legally blind' (Unable to be corrected to better than 20/200) since birth. This would be ambliogenic (causing amblyopia), which is like projecting a 1080p image onto a 128x128 grid of pixels, no matter how well you focus it, the hardware (striate cortex) isn't able to resolve it any better.
Anywho, it's great that these devices are able to help, but I always find issue with how sensationalized these articles make it out to be. Similar things with the retinal implants (Argus II etc) and these devices.
One of the coolest applications for truly blind people is image recognition/spatial identification and verbalizing "Doorway closed 5' in front of you". Computer vision is doing some great things to help the visually impaired.
"Do you have a license for that disability?"
Uhh... I umm...
*bolts the fuck away*
Hey, I thought I'd weigh in on this as someone who's actually had first hand experience with these. My mom is legally blind with degenerative eye failure. She was poisoned by a military spill of agent orange into the ground water in Camp Lejeune North Carolina when she was a teenager. Her condition leaves her with terrable vision, and she lacks the ability to see worth a damn most of the time, unless what she's looking at is inlarged and right in front of her face. It's really bad. My dad did some research and looked into these glasses. They seemed like a great idea, but as the article says, it comes with a 10,000 dollar price tag. It's hard to put any price on the ability to see, but my mom has worked hard in her life and has never let her vision problem stand in her way. She hates the idea of looking like a freak and she was against the idea up front. That being the case, she decided to try these out. What they told us is that if you want to try them, you have to come to one of their centers for the blind to even try them, an I home test costs 500 dollars for a trial. That's pretty high, all things considered. When I tried them out myself I was amazed at how underwhelming they were. The resolution is medeocre, the fit is bad, they fall off your face if you look down, they are made of super cheap materials, they don't focus well, even with no prescription and they have a short battery life. That's it? For 10 grand? What? My solution for her was to get a Samsung note 8 and an oculus gear vr. For less than 10% of the cost, the comfort, form factor, battery life, build quality, resolution and camera are unbelievably better. The problem is the software. The passthrough camera works OK, but it lacks functionality. I did a little research and there is a Korean company that developed an app called Relumino that blows that Canadian bullshit away. It actually brought me to tears when my mom tried it out and she could actually, for the first time in my life, could read the signs on the stores near by. I was pissed that the esight was so bad, but the ability for the gear vr to work as well as it does was amazing. If you bothered to read this far and would like help or would like to know more, let me know and I can help you walk through my process.
TLDR: Note 8 + gear vr + Relumino blows this 10k piece of junk out of the water for less than 1/10 the price.
I am a legally blind person, and I got to do a hands-on demo with these. They don’t do much you couldn’t already do with a decent cell-phone camera. At the time, they wanted $15,000 for them. Their promo about allowing legally blind people to “see for the first time” is intentionally misleading. They set up some items both near and far and you can use the device to zoom in on those items which allow you to see at the same level of a 20/20 sighted person but you have to be able to see (even if your vision is extremely poor like mine) to be able to use the device.