Israeli Start-Up Develops Device That Helps Blind to Read
New Israeli start-up OrCam Technologies Limited has developed a device call MyEye that enable blind people and those with vision disabilities to read.
Jerusalem-based company founded in 2010 by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, the founders of Mobileye, a leading developer of obstacle-detection software and a central player in the auto industry. In its IPO, Mobileye has a $9 billion market cap.
MyEye of OrCam is a portable computer vision device that includes a camera and a microphone and and processing unit that can be attached to a pair of eyeglasses.
Through the computer vision algorithm and with a movement from the user’s finger, MyEye immediately responds and determine whether it needs to read, find an item, or recognize a product. The device weighs only 14 grams. It can be clipped to a belt or placed into a pocket, and it needs to be kept charged.
MyEye reads printed text including restaurant menus, street signs, books, newspapers and even food labels. It reads most digital text on a television or computer.
The device recognizes previously entered consumer products, money notes, and credit cards and also identifies faces of individuals who were previously photographed with the device’s camera. It matches the faces of people with their names, which the device announces when approaching a person whose image is stored in its memory.
This multiple-language reader was released as a prototype in September 2013 and was launched in the United States in 2015.
“OrCam’s mission is to harness the power of artificial vision by incorporating pioneering technology into a wearable platform, which improves the lives of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, have a reading disability, or people with other conditions. The breakthrough OrCam MyEye device provides a visual aid through a discreet, wearable platform, and easy-to-use interface,” says a company statment.
Each OrCam device is hand-delivered at home by a certified OrCam trainer, who will teach the new user how to use the device.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 39 million completely blind, while 246 million have various vision disabilities.
Read more about: Mobileye, MyEye, OrCam, Prof. Amnon Shashua, vision for disabilities, Ziv Aviram