According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 285 million people across the globe are visually impaired, and 39 million of those individuals are completely blind. Those with visual impairments consistently have to adapt to different surroundings and situations in order to be able to get through their day-to-day lives.
But, it’s becoming easier thanks to advancements in technology. The tech sector is making strides toward inclusion. Everyone should be able to have access to the internet, no matter their impairment. Everyone should be able to use a smartphone, or drive a smart car.
Unfortunately, these options weren’t always available to individuals with vision issues. On top of not always being able to do everything that those with no vision problems can do, some people with vision impairment have medical debt to worry about, as well, since many insurance plans don’t cover vision care. So, what is technology doing to help? What are some of the best gadgets and inventions of today that can make life easier for the visually impaired?
The Intelligent Camera App
AI has come a long way in recent years, and tech giant Microsoft is using it to help those with impaired vision. The Seeing AI app can be used to identify everyday items in the world or to read text almost instantly. It features navigational channels that can read:
- Short text documents
- People and/or objects
The app itself uses the information it captures and turns it into audio that the visually impaired can use to get information about what they’re reading and even who they’re with.
With so many kids going to school remotely this year, an app like this could be a great option for children and teens with visual impairment, as it can read information that is being shown on a screen or even help to identify a teacher in front of a virtual classroom. Tech is already driving its way into classrooms across the country, but this is one way for those with vision problems to bring tech into their own homes to make learning easier.
Other major corporations may be soon to follow when it comes to gear that can help the visually impaired. Apple added emojis to represent those with disabilities in 2018. Google has a policy in place to remove apps that violate accessibility services. But, these tech giants still haven’t come up with something as innovative as the Seeing AI App.
Braille 2 Go
In 2018, National Braille Press reached out to Zone24x7 to create a device that would function like a smartphone for the visually impaired. The result was Braille2Go (B2G). It is an Android-powered device that allows those with vision problems to do almost everything smartphone users can do on regular basis, including:
- Viewing web browsers
- Using social media apps
The device features Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Bluetooth functionality, a camera for character recognition, and stereo speakers. The best part? Mobile app developers don’t need to be Braille literate in order to create apps for the device. So, new apps can be added all the time, giving the visually impaired more options.
There are nearly 3 billion smartphone users in the world today, and it’s about time those with serious vision problems can be a part of that group without having to struggle. Having a device like this can make anyone with vision problems feel a sense of “normalcy.”
There are nearly 3 billion smartphone users in the world today, and it’s about time those with serious vision problems can be a part of that group without having to struggle. #Eyesight #Vision #Healthcare Click To Tweet
When you think about the visually impaired, it’s important not to assume that everyone in that category is completely blind. As stated above, the number of blind individuals is far less than those with visual impairments.
So, the NuEyes Pro from NuEyes is a great option for those with low vision, or anyone dealing with:
- Macular degeneration
- Retinitis pigmentosa
The NuEyes Pro allows wearers to magnify whatever they’re looking at. The glasses are voice-activated and can essentially “zoom in” on an object or words before displaying them on the inside of the glass. The glasses provide more than just a zooming camera. They keep whatever you’re looking at clear and crisp, but larger.
The NuEyes Pro is a great piece of wearable technology that makes everyday tasks easier, especially for older individuals who tend to deal with the low-vision problems listed above. It can also be useful for those dealing with vision problems in the workplace. Everything from reading documents to seeing numbers on a vending machine can be easier for the visually impaired when they’re wearing the glasses.
From kids and teens to seniors, no one is completely immune from developing vision problems. Technology is one of the best answers for inclusivity. Advancements are being made to help everyone navigate the world in a unique way. Whether it’s a smartphone device, a way to “see” things through a different lens, or a pair of glasses that can make your low vision problems feel non-existent, it will be exciting to see what the tech world offers up for those with visual impairment in the years to come.