Innovation Inspiration: VR Leads the Blind to New Sight
Our new blog series, Innovation Inspiration, highlights exciting new tech that brings together science and innovation.
IrisVision, a wearable low vision aid makes innovative use of virtual and augmented reality technology to restore sight to people with macular degeneration. The device takes advantage of available peripheral vision to allow those with macular degeneration to resume previously impossible activities like reading, playing games, and gardening.
Using a VR headset that holds a Samsung Galaxy phone, users see their surroundings in real time but with the added benefit of being able to magnify the image as many times as necessary to effectively reduce or eliminate their blind spot.
“Everything around the blind spot looks, say, 10 times bigger, so the relative size of the blind spot looks so much smaller that the brain can’t perceive it anymore,” Tom Perski from IrisVision, who also has severe macular degeneration, reported to New Scientist.
In a two week trial, 30 participants used IrisVision and reported back on their ability to complete daily activities before and after the trial. David Rhew from Samsung Electronics Americas told New Scientist, “the baseline rate of vision in the individuals came in at 20/400, which is legally blind, and with the use of this technology it improved to 20/30, which is pretty close to 20/20 vision".
For more information on the IrisVision system, check out: https://irisvision.com/
Quotes in this post come from New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23931892-700-vr-headset-helps-people-who-are-legally-blind-see-again/