A father-of-four who has been blind for almost 30 years is now able to read a book, thanks to his new artificial glasses.
Marc Bilton, 48, of Victoria Street, Dunstable, was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was 19, a group of inherited conditions of the retina that lead to gradual progressive reduction in vision.
His wife saw the device on Facebook and at first the couple thought it might have been a fake post but they got in touch with OrCam and travelled to London to get more information about the device.
Marc said: “At first we were a bit dubious because it was almost too good to be believable and you have to be careful with what you find on Facebook.
“When we met the people from OrCam we knew it wasn’t a con, they had a cupboard full of devices.
“The amount of technology, effort and money that would have gone into developing the product, we knew it was a legitimate product.
“It’s not actually glasses, it is a tiny camera device that attaches to a pair of glasses.
“The glasses were £1,800 which is quite expensive but I believe it is money well spent.
“The device has a tiny smart camera that recognises faces and texts and then explains what I am looking at.
“I set up the device and programmed the information so that it is able to recognise faces that I know.
“It takes pictures of people and words and relays the words back to me in my voice, if someone comes towards me it will do a facial recognition, I can sit in a room with people now and I will know who is there.
“There is nothing else out there like this, I am now able to read letters, books and newspapers without having to ask someone to help me.
“It has not made me totally independent but it has allowed me to do some of the things I could not do before, and it has helped me a lot.”
OrCam says its mission is to: “harness the power of artificial vision by incorporating pioneering technology into a wearable platform which improves the lives of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, have a reading disability or people with other conditions.”
OrCam’s mission is to harness the power of artificial vision by incorporating
pioneering technology into a wearable platform which improves the lives of
individuals who are blind, visually impaired, have a reading disability or people
with other conditions.