OrCam Technologies, the developer of the world’s most advanced wearable assistive technology for blind and visually impaired people, is showcasing its next generation artificial vision device, the OrCam MyEye 2.0, this week at 100% Optical, the UK’s largest optical event.

Following its global launch at CES earlier this month, the OrCam MyEye 2.0 won the prestigious Last Gadget Standing award, as well as being a CES 2018 Innovation Awards honouree in the accessible tech category.

The OrCam MyEye 2.0 is a breakthrough, wearable artificial vision device designed for people who are blind, partially sighted, or have reading difficulties. The great advance achieved with this new version, compared to the original OrCam MyEye device, is that it is completely wireless, and the whole device is now only about the size of a finger. Despite its compact size, the device includes even more powerful artificial vision technology which enables users to read text off of any surface instantly and discreetly, as well as to recognise faces, bank notes, and products seamlessly.

The OrCam MyEye 2.0 is designed to be intuitive and easy to use for people with visual impairments. The wireless device magnetically mounts onto the user’s eyeglasses or sunglasses frame, and weighs less than an ounce. It is the only wearable artificial vision technology that is activated by an intuitive pointing gesture, or simply by following the wearer’s gaze, allowing for hands-free use without the need for a smartphone or Wi-Fi. Functions like volume control are now performed using a touch pad on the side of the device.

Another new feature is LED lighting which can illuminate text, faces, products, and currency notes in low light environments, making the OrCam MyEye 2.0’s text reading and facial/object recognition even more powerful. Identification of consumer products, colours, and money notes also provides users with greater levels of independence.

Leon Paull, OrCam’s international business development manager, commented: “We are thrilled to be launching our next generation OrCam MyEye device at 100% Optical. This device is a huge step forward in artificial vision technology, and is more powerful, more discreet, and more intuitive than any of our previous devices. Our technology can help people living with visual impairments to lead more independent and connected lives, even when they have no remaining medical/surgical options.”

Ian White, an OrCam user and trainer who has lost the majority of his sight and has been registered blind since 2011, commented: “The biggest difference that I noticed with the OrCam MyEye 2.0 is the increased performance. It is even more responsive and intuitive than the previous version. The fact that it’s wireless also means that I can be really spontaneous with how I use it. I can take the OrCam MyEye 2.0 out at the bus stop, or at the shops, and very quickly click it onto the side of my glasses to read anything that’s in front of me. It is also so compact and discreet that I never draw attention to myself when I’m using the device.

“My favourite new feature has to be the built-in LED lighting, which means you can read in low or ambient light. I went away with my wife over Christmas, and we went out to a restaurant that had ambient low lighting. In the past, it would have been impossible for me to read the menu in light like this, but the OrCam MyEye 2.0 had no problems at all!”