The Latest Technologies for Vision Loss
Impacting tens of millions of Americans, vision loss is as varied as the individuals who experience it – from simply needing to don a pair of reading glasses to scan through the morning paper, to complete blindness. And it’s even more prevalent in older adults, with one in every three seniors over age 65 experiencing some type of eye disease that impacts vision, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and others. Thankfully, as with so many other challenging conditions, technology continues to explode with options to improve quality of life for those experiencing vision problems. Just take a look at some of the vision enhancement tools that are now available:
- Be My Eyes. This incredible app connects sighted volunteers with those with low vision or blindness, and literally allows them to see, through the person’s phone, any number of immediate needs – such as checking expiration dates of food or confirming that an outfit matches. And, “It’s being used for some amazing things,” according to Alexander Jensen, Be My Eyes’ Community Director. “We received an email from a woman who said she used a Be My Eyes volunteer to check her wedding dress for any stains before the ceremony started.”
- Seeing AI. A more recently released app, Seeing AI also utilizes a sight-impaired person’s phone, allowing for identification of a person to whom the camera is pointed, including recognition of the person’s facial expressions to pick up on feelings and mood. It can also scan barcodes to identify items (with an audible alert when the camera is close to a barcode), verify denominations of currency, and a wide variety of other functions, even without an Internet connection.
- RoboCane. This is no ordinary white cane! Equipped with a computer, microphone and 3-D camera, RoboCane can detect obstacles and provide voice prompts to let the user know what’s ahead. It can also guide its user through use of a motorized roller tip, once floor plans of a desired route are loaded into its computer, as well as take verbal commands from its user and provide audio feedback through a wireless earpiece.
CareWorks Health Services can help improve quality of life for those with a vision impairment through safe, reliable transportation and accompaniment to outings, assistance with household chores and personal care tasks, and much, much more. Contact us online or call us any time at (949) 859-4700 for a free in-home consultation to learn more!