Over time, we have identified a number of different diseases which result in diminishing to no vision. These conditions include mascular degeneration (caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them via the optic nerve from the eye to the brain), diabetic retinopathy (a condition occurring in persons with diabetes, which causes progressive damage to the retina), some forms of glaucoma, and optic atrophy (deterioration of the optic nerve).
Recent advances in technology has enabled devices such as eSight Eyewear to provide solutions to improve vision for people with low vision. This eyewear is mobile, can be used hands free, and allows users to move from one activity to another without hindrance, including activities that would have not been possible due to their lower vision. eSight system has a headset and a controller. The headset consists of a high-definition camera, OLED screens, and supporting electronics that are used to capture and display real-time videos. The camera in the glasses can beam images to peripheral vision, which is normally working fine for many users with limited vision. The separate controller adjusts the pixels of the video in real-time to increase contrast, magnify, and adjust other aspects of the image, enabling the users with low vision see clear images. It also contains the system’s battery, which lasts for about four hours on a charge and can easily be swapped out for a fresh battery. The eSight system also works when the battery in the controller is charging, so you can have unlimited operating time if you’re stationary in a spot where electricity is available.
The system is not inexpensive at $15,000, but the company can help by putting prospective users in contact with sponsors and funding organizations to help cover the costs. Given that this is a new product produced in small quantities, there is reason to hope that the price can be driven down in the future as the component costs are reduced.