New eSight Eyewear Offers Hope For the Visually Impaired

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Eye2_012313_SightSeeing_iPad_IMG1Up until now there has been little hope for those who have lost or are losing their eyesight, except to learn how to adapt to life without vision. This generally involves owning specially trained guide animals, learning to read a series of raised dots called Braille, and basically relearning every little detail of normal life. Not only can this be frustrating for those who have lost their eye sight, but many without vision often end up depressed about their need to obtain outside help with every day things. The eSight is a new device that will help to enhance the eyesight of those who are visually impaired, but does have it’s limitations.

Typical Eyesight Aids

Until now, people with vision impairments have had very few options available to them. The most common of these, of course, are normal eye glasses. These are simple metal or plastic frames that fit over the ears and cover the eyes, and contain a pair of glass lenses that have been ground down to a very specific thickness and curvature. The lens thickness and curvature inserted into a pair of glasses is dependent on the specific needs of the individual. Like eye glasses, contact lenses are often used by those with vision impairments.

Similar to normal eye glasses, the contact lenses, made out of a type of thin flexible plastic, are created with specific thicknesses to aid in any number of eyesight problems. As a last resort, there have long been options available to those with vision problems that involve surgery, usually with a special type of laser. This surgical procedure is never a guarantee, however. In fact, many people claim that their vision actually got worse after having the procedure done. Now, though, those with eyesight problems have another, more advanced, option; the eSight.

Benefits of the eSight Eyewear System

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The eSight Eyewear System uses a high resolution video camera with a pair of bright, high contrast displays to enhance the wearer’s vision. The settings can, of course, be adjusted to suit the wearer’s individual visual needs, and even includes the owner’s prescription lenses for an all around visual aid. The system can be used by most people with vision issues, including glaucoma, Leber’s disease and Diabetic Retinopathy. The system allows the viewer to zoom in and out as needed in order to properly see faces and text on a page, and allows for color and contrast optimization to find tune what the wearer sees.

Limitations of the eSight Eyewear System

The most important factor in deciding whether or not to purchase the eSight Eyewear is, of course, the cost. While traditional glasses can cost a few hundred dollars, the eSight price tag can seem daunting. While the total cost of the system will, of course, depend on the individual needs of the purchaser, the company offers a payment plan with a $1,450 down payment and payments of about $300 per month for three years – quite a hefty cost. Because of the way the system works, they are also not suitable to wear while driving or performing any other possibly dangerous activities. Lack of battery life, also, is a consideration. Charging the eSight overnight will net the wearer about four hours of use before needing to recharge.

The Man Behind the eSight

The eSight Eyewear system is the brain child of Conrad Lewis, a successful entrepreneur with more than 60 technology patents to his name. As a member of a family with many varying vision issues, from retinal detachments to Stargardt’s Disease, Lewis made it one of his life’s goals to try and help those who suffered from similar diseases and maladys. After researching the few options available at the time, and becoming dissatisfied with all of them, he assembled a team of top electrical engineers to attempt to find a solution. He collaborated with many different researchers and clinicians, as well as a number of eyesight organizations, in an effort to produce a product that would help people with low vision regain some of their sight.