The modern world relies very heavily on sight. While podcasts have brought audio back to a primary method of communication, much of what we do is visual. Phones, despite their name, have a strong focus on visuals. Even things as simple as eating at a restaurant requires sight to be able to know the menu. But, if you have a visual impairment, it can have a major impact on your life. Fortunately, our friends at OrCam have a technological solution to the problem: OrCam MyEye.
The OrCam MyEye is a small device that looks like a PowerPoint controller. But, instead of a device to control a computer, it is a small computer with a built-in camera. It attaches to your glasses, which allows it to stay focused in the same direction as your head. This allows you to use it to read aloud text in front of you. It can be done directly from the device, or it can be paired with a speaker or headphones.
The OrCam MyEye is controlled using gestures. You can tap the device to read whatever is in front of you. Or, you can point at text to have it start reading there. You can use a hand gesture, similar to an orchestral conductor, to end the reading. This puts you in full control of what is being read and when.
In addition to the text reading capability, it is able to do object identification. For example, it can learn and announce people using onboard facial recognition. It is also able to identify products around you, either using a pre-determined database, or by using the barcode on the product. In either case, it is able to announce that person or product just the same as it can read text.
The OrCam MyEye is available now starting at $3000, or can be purchased using Sunbit starting at $150 per month. To learn more or make a purchase, check out the OrCam website.
Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.