A Look at the Latest Technologies for Sight Loss
- By: Scott Vanderhoef
- Senior Safety
Impacting an incredible number of Americans, vision loss is as varied as the people who experience it – from simply the need to wear a pair of reading glasses to skim through the morning newspaper, to total blindness. Sight loss is even more common in older adults, with one out of every three seniors over age 65 having some type of eye disease that affects vision, like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and others. Thankfully, as with so many other challenging conditions, technology continues to explode with choices to improve wellbeing for all those experiencing vision problems. Just take a glance at some of the vision enhancement tools that are currently available:
- Be My Eyes. This incredible application connects sighted volunteers with individuals with low vision or blindness, and literally allows them to see, through the individual’s phone, any number of immediate needs – like checking expiration dates of food or confirming that an outfit matches. And, “It’s getting used for many 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 on her wedding gown for any stains before the ceremony started.”
- Seeing AI. An even more recently released app, Seeing AI also utilizes a sight-impaired person’s phone, providing identification of a person to whom the camera is pointed, including recognition of the individual’s facial expressions to pick up on feelings and mood. It also can 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 identify obstacles and supply voice prompts to let the user know what’s ahead. It also can guide its user through use of a mechanized roller tip once floor plans of a desired route are entered into its computer, and can also take verbal commands from the user and supply audio feedback through a wireless earpiece.
Heaven at Home Senior Care, providing Dallas area home care services, can really help improve quality of life for persons with a vision impairment through safe, trusted transportation and accompaniment to outings, assistance with household chores and personal care tasks, and so much more. Contact us any time by clicking here or call us at 866-381-0500 for a complementary in-home consultation or for more information!