Virtual Reality Headsets Helping the Blind
Virtual Reality technology is no longer just for gamers. Technology companies are looking for ways to use VR as a means to help people with partial blindness and even people who have been declared legally blind by law. This VR technology is going to shape the future for ophthalmologists and maybe someday, completely eliminate blindness.
Two tech companies, eSight and IrisVision, have developed a virtual reality headset to help loss of vision in different ways. IrisVision’s VR headset focuses more on the fading of eye site and macular degeneration. While eSight’s VR headset focuses on more severe vision impairment. Both companies working towards a common goal in order to improve the lives of anyone who suffers from blindness and being visually impaired.
How do they work?
eSight smart glasses use a high definition camera and corrective glasses, all designed to the particular wearer’s vision impairment. IndiaTimes technology writer, Gwyn D’Mello writes, “The camera captures your surrounding in vivid clarity, and the footage is cleaned up and adjusted to the wearer’s particular vision issues before being streamed to the displays.” The smart glasses are also portable and contain six hours of battery life.
IrisVision VR headset works a little differently. This system works with a smartphone that records and displays the images in the users outter limits of vision. In order for the user to no longer view the blindspot in their vision, they can adjust and magnify the images being captured and displayed in the headset.
How cost effective are they?
Since both technologies have been developed to help different cases and severity of blindness, the costs between the two are drastic. eSight’s headset is slated around $10,000 but are looking for ways to balance out the cost by offering financing plans and installments.
IrisVision’s headset is more attainable and cost effective for people living with impaired vision. Starting at $2,500, this VR headset is currently being used in 80 ophthalmology centers across the US. Digital Trends writer, Luke Dormehl adds, “The company next plans to modify the software so that it works with other vision disorders.”
These companies are developing groundbreaking technology, by piggybacking on the Virtual Reality system that has already been introduced and used by the public. Expanding the knowledge gained from these developments to improve the lives of humans. The future of this technology will drastically change the lives of anyone with impaired vision forever.