In the US, one woman has been given the second chance to see. After nearly completely losing her vision, she is now able to move around independently and complete everyday tasks. There are various new innovations that are allowing people to move around without physical assistance.
Being declared legally blind does not necessarily mean that you are completely unable to see, it means that your sight is that poor it would be considered dangerous to do activities like driving a vehicle. In North Carolina, one woman has been given the chance to see again by using a device called eSight 4.
This particular device is worn over the individuals head and sits in front of their eyes similar to a pair of glasses. Facing the eyes are screens that are illuminated onto the wearers eyes. The front of the headset has a camera which captures surroundings and can zoom in on certain objects allowing wearers to see objects and surroundings much more clearly.
Often, eye issues such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy can cause someone to have dark spots over their vision, leading to partial or full blindness. This device can assist in changing the way people, who aren’t able to be cured, see and move around. Seeing a device like this gives me hope for the future.
Another innovative piece of technology that is looking to improve the lives of blind people is waymap. Waymap is navigation software that has no requirement to connect to GPS or the internet. The company behind the software has claimed that it is the most accurate navigation software in the world and has a accuracy of 1 metre.
The initial idea was formed by CEO, Tom Pey, who is blind himself. The idea was to have a mobile application that allowed blind people to safely navigate their way around city metro stations and find their way to bus stops. Pey stated that “mobility is not a luxury” and that everyone has the right to move around their environment freely.
The app has become a success after being backed and receiving funding from American cellular company Verizon. With this app, they hope to create a lot more accessibility for blind people.
As someone who is always looking for solutions, thinking about the future and seeking innovative ideas and technology such as this makes me proud of how far we, as a society, have come. My main goal is to make devices like this much more accessible, especially to those suffering in developing countries.
I look towards the innovation in surgery that has occurred over the last few years. Thanks to co-founder of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, Dr Sanduk Ruit, curing someone of blindness can cost as little as $50 and take only 7 minutes. Having this method of surgery exist means that more and more people can be cured in a shorter space of time.
Whilst ailments such as glaucoma and cataracts are easily cured in the western world, it is important to remember that developing countries do not have access to technology such as the eSight 4 or quick and easy surgery. This is why the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation have made it their mission to travel into the developing world to cure those of issues such as cataracts. It is our hope and goal to cure blindness to alleviate poverty in those countries.
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