Newly launched assistive technology company has modified Epson smart glasses to provide support for blind and visually impaired people.
Leading eye health clinicians, early adopters, and technology innovators came together on Thursday, February 28 for the global launch of OXSIGHT, an assistive technology company which has developed a range of smart glasses for blind and visually impaired people. The key topic for discussion was how to expand the awareness and availability of the latest breakthroughs in vision technology.
Led by keynote speaker, technology journalist Rob Waugh, and guest speaker Professor Xinghuai Sun, a leading clinician and world authority on ophthalmology and vision science.
The panel discussed the major challenges facing low vision patients around the world, and the ways that technology can help to meet those challenges. Professor Monica Chaudhary, a world-renowned low vision expert from the Amity University Gurgaon in India, highlighted the clinical community’s lack of understanding of low vision, and the low awareness of new technologies amongst patients with low vision.
Rakesh Roshan, CEO of OXSIGHT, commented: “Globally, it is estimated that around 1.3 billion people live with some form of visual impairment. According to the World Health Organisation, 188.5 million have mild visual impairment, 217 million have moderate to severe visual impairment and 36 million people are blind.”
“Loneliness and social isolation are often cited as consequences of visual impairment. However, recent research suggests that these are not inevitable consequences of sight loss but occur as a result of a number of factors, including difficulties with everyday functional activities. Products such as those developed at OXSIGHT have the potential to change lives for the better and it is that knowledge that continues to fuel our passion for continuing to develop innovative and life enhancing products.”
During the event guests were able to try out OXSIGHT’s smart glasses for themselves, as well as speak to existing OXSIGHT users. OXSIGHT user David Quigley, one of the first people in the UK to have an OXSIGHT device, spoke about the difference that the glasses have made to his life. David’s sight has been seriously reduced for more than 20 years, and he currently only has about 5% function in his retina. After he got his OXSIGHT glasses he was able to see more than he had done in years: “One of my best moments was sitting in the church and being able to see my niece’s face on her wedding day, which I never would have been able to do without my OXSIGHT glasses.”
OXSIGHT partnered with Epson to develop its smart glasses to help people with peripheral vision loss, also known as tunnel vision. The smart glasses use augmented reality and image interpretation technology to enhance users’ remaining vision. They are controlled via a hand-held console and fitted with a camera which streams a live feed into two high-resolution video displays. These screens are placed directly in front of the wearer’s eyes and the images produced are manipulated to fit into the user’s area of useable vision.
The OXSIGHT glasses have seven modes, with features including: increased image contrast, super colour mode, text mode, edge enhancement, inverted colour, and a digital zoom to allow users to magnify objects and obstacles. These features have been shown to enhance the remaining vision of people with peripheral vision loss. Peripheral vision loss is commonly caused by degenerative sight loss conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa.