Affecting an incredible number of Americans, vision loss is as varied as the individuals who experience it – from simply needing to put on a pair of reading glasses to browse through the morning newspaper, to complete blindness. And it’s even more common in older adults, with one out of every three elders over age 65 experiencing some sort of eye disease that affects vision, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, as well as others. Thankfully, as with so many other challenging conditions, technology continues to explode with options to improve quality of living for many experiencing vision problems. Simply take a glance at some of the vision enhancement tools which are now available:
- Be My Eyes. This incredible application links sighted volunteers with individuals with low vision or blindness, and actually allows them to see, through the individual’s phone, all sorts of immediate needs – such as checking expiration dates of food or confirming that an outfit matches. And, “It’s being used for some amazing things,” according to Alexander Jensen, Be My Eyes’ Community Director. “We received a message from a woman who said she used a Be My Eyes volunteer to check 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, enabling identification of an individual to whom the camera is directed, including recognition of the person’s facial expressions to pick up on feelings and mood. It also can scan barcodes to identify items (with an audible alert as soon as the camera is close to a barcode), verify denominations of currency, and a multitude of other functions, even without an Internet connection.
- RoboCane. This really is no ordinary white cane! Designed with a computer, microphone and 3-D camera, RoboCane can detect obstacles and provide voice prompts to let the user know what’s ahead. It also can guide its user through use of a motor-driven roller tip once floor plans of a planned route are loaded into its computer, and can also take spoken commands from the user and supply audio feedback through a wireless earpiece.
All Care In-Home Care Solutions of southern Oregon can really help improve wellbeing for individuals with a vision impairment through safe, reliable transportation and accompaniment to outings, help with household chores and personal care tasks, and far more. Call us today at (541) 857-9195 for a complementary in-home consultation to learn more!