eSight: The Virtual Reality Tool Giving Sight to the Blind
Inside the eSight virtual reality headset is a HD camera, combined with OLED screens, and technology that supports a real-time video feed. With bioptic tilt to switch viewing modes and access peripheral vision, and mounted on carrier frames, you might mistake eSight for one of the many emerging virtual reality devices currently hitting the headlines.
The difference with eSight, however, is its applications go far beyond leisure, or even the commercial CGI sector. This virtual reality device is specially designed to allow blind individuals a real chance at visually interacting with their real world environment.
eSight is currently the only patented eyewear solution that allows visually impaired people to see in a way that is close to normal vision. It’s hands-free, comfortable and – most importantly – mobile, which means everyday life for those with visual impairment becomes a whole lot easier.
Take Justin, for example, who is featured in the above video. In the past, before getting eSight, Justin says it took him six hours a night to complete his homework for school. Now, he spends just two hours.
Justin can plug his eSight device directly into his computer, which allows him to see the screen clearly. This not only helps him with his schoolwork, it also allows him the freedom to pursue his passion for DJing.
Who Can Use It?
eSight works well for those with central vision loss, which means individuals have a blind spot at the centre of their vision. It’s also compatible with those who suffer from general field loss, which affects their entire field of vision.
Why Is This Virtual Reality Tool So Popular?
Users can utilise the in-built control unit to make custom adjustments to the focus, contrast, colour and zoom of the image they see in the headset. This is great for individuals to personalise their experience to their own personal vision requirements.
It’s also less of an issue nowadays to be wearing a headset around the place: as virtual reality continues to move closer and closer to mainstream adoption, it’s no big deal to see such tech on a day to day basis. This is a factor that will please those who are new to sight loss, as the change in how people see them can affect many visually impaired people’s self esteem.
So Will eSight Be Widely Available Soon?
Sadly, as with most brand new technology, the price tag is a bit of an obstacle. $15,000 is a steep price to pay, but users argue that the change it’s made to their lives is invaluable. No surgery, and no bodily modification is necessary in order to use the device, another factor which makes eSight such a desirable product for the visually impaired.
Nonetheless, the eSight is not currently covered by medical insurance in the US and Canada, from where it originates. Of course, it’s not NHS prescribed either.
The eSight has also not been clinically tested, although it is inspected by Health Canada. It’s not suitable for all blindness sufferers, as there is such an array of reasons for sight loss in general. Those who are interested in getting the technology for themselves are advised to consult their physician first, just to check it’s actually going to work before they fork out such a huge sum of money.
And speaking of forking out, if you visit crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe, you’ll find plenty of individuals trying to raise funds in order to get their own eSight device. With such promise for life-changing results, it’s no wonder people are taking to donation sites in order to make their dreams come true.
A Bright Future in Sight
Currently, schools and businesses spend a huge amount of money as it is on disability tools and services, so one-off investment in eSight might actually save money in these areas.
Where this is possible, more and more individuals will have access to eSight, thereby improving universal access to both education and fulfilling careers that were once out of reach to those with reduced sight.