New Iris Vision technology aims to help visually impaired

Sunday, June 18, 2017 09:19AM
Iris Vision is a wearable device that allows those with low vision to see the world like they've never seen it before.


CHICAGO - New and innovative technology is aimed at helping the visually impaired.

Iris Vision is a wearable device that allows those with low vision to see the world like they've never seen it before. Ravi Baichwal went to the Chicago Lighthouse to see what it's all about.

With a swipe of a finger, those with low vision are able to get up close and personal to the world around them.

This new technology, called Iris Vision, uses Samsung VR headset combined with software uploaded to a Samsung Galaxy phone.

"What's really great about it is that it works at all these different distances. You can hold things up to read, you can look at a computer screen. I can go across and use it to look at people's faces, watching TV, a play or a show. We haven't had a low vision device that can do all those different things at all these different distances and be able to focus automatically," said Tom Perski, senior vice president of rehabilitation services at the Chicago Lighthouse.

Users see a bubble appear that they can make bigger or smaller. Then within the bubble, a person can zoom in or zoom back out.

"The image looks like a giant wide screen TV right in front of the eyes, so it works for so many people with different eye conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes related eye diseases," Perski said.

Right now, Iris Vision will set you back $2,500 because, like most wearable devices, it is not covered by insurance or Medicare.

Despite the cost, the first-of-its kind technology seems to be gaining popularity.

"So we're really excited and it's been taken by storm here in the Midwest. We're the first to be showing it and it has been successful, and as I mentioned we have not seen anything like it before," said Perski.
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