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OrCam Technologies, the developers of OrCam MyEye, the world’s most advanced wearable assistive technology, has launched version 8 of the software that powers OrCam MyEye – thereby increasing the independence-giving functionality of its revolutionary device.

The incredibly intuitive OrCam MyEye harnesses the power of artificial vision to enable users to instantly and discreetly read text off of any surface and also to recognise faces, bank notes and products. The OrCam MyEye is a wearable, easy to use device that has been pioneered to communicate vital visual information. It has been meticulously designed with the needs of people who are blind or partially sighted in mind, and can be used by children and adults alike, regardless of the level of visual impairment they have.

Version 8 of the software means that the OrCam MyEye now has:
• Enhanced facial recognition – the device can now distinguish between men, women and children (the previous software announced everyone as a ‘person’).
• Colour identification – this added feature provides the user with the colour of the items the device is viewing.
• Automatic page detection – OrCam MyEye can now automatically read a printed page without the need to ‘point’ at the page or press a trigger button. The device now reads ‘hands free’ 3 seconds after the text appears in front of the device.

Over 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss, a figure which is expected to increase to 4 million by 2050[i]. Sight loss affects almost every aspect of daily living, walking, driving, reading and recognising people, places or objects.

As well as reading any printed or digital text from newspapers, books, computer screens, restaurant menus, labels on supermarket products and street signs, OrCam MyEye is even clever enough to ask the wearer to turn the text the other way if it is being held upside down.

The OrCam MyEye smart camera sits on a side of a pair of glasses and uses highly-advanced optical character reading (OCR) to read printed materials. The revolutionary device is the only wearable assistive technology that reads text in real-time without the need of a smartphone or a Wi-Fi connection.

Sarah Matthews, a mother of one, who was left blind in 2014 after suffering a head-injury says the OrCam device has transformed her life since she started using it.

She said: “For me, OrCam just feels like an immediate solution to all the problems I face as a blind person. It was amazing how quickly I was able to use the device. The best thing about the MyEye is when my son runs up to me, it gives me a little warning that he is coming, so that I know that there is a hug coming. It’s just a great experience.”

Dr Yonatan Wexler, EVP of Research and Development at OrCam, added: “Vision is the main sense through which we experience the world, so there are many things that someone who loses his or her sight or has impaired vision is unable to experience. It’s very hard to live like that.”

Michael Crossland, Specialist Optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Senior Research Associate at UCL Institute on Ophthalmology said: “I think that the MyEye device is a very exciting development in low vision-rehabilitation. It is great to have a product which enables text-to-speech reading in a real-world environment.”