WORLD-BEATING glasses amazed partly sighted members of a Bognor Regis group.
The hi-tech Orcam brings a new meaning to the term ‘reading glasses’.
The equipment consists of a tiny camera which is fixed to the frame of a pair of glasses. It reads the text and instantly speaks it into the ear of the wearer through a tiny speaker. Tony Fox, of OrCam, took a pair along to the latest meeting of the Macular Society’s Bognor Regis group.
He said: “This is a wearable piece of technology, which turns text into speech. “In the past, you have had to take the text to the machine. Now, the text comes to the wearer.
“There is nothing else like this in the world. We’ve sold 1,000 pairs since we launched the glasses last year.”
Last Thursday’s second meeting of the group, held at 4SIGHT’s centre in Victoria Drive, was attended by 11 supporters. Among them was Debbie Harper, 73, of Felpham, who is pictured above with Mr Fox.
“It has been very interesting to learn about the technology,” she said. “It will be very useful to people who are unable to read.”
Debbie has suffered wet age-related macular degeneration in both eyes for about five years. It destroyed the central vision in her right eye but regular injections of medication have saved the sight in her left eye. She said: “It’s very useful to have this group in Bognor Regis. I intend to come back again. It’s helpful to talk to people in the same position.
“There is immense fear when you think you are going to lose your sight.”
The group’s initial meeting took place last June and attracted eight individuals. 4SIGHT outreach worker Dan Batchelor said: “This group is slowly building up to have strong foundations to take its place helping the sight loss community around Bognor Regis. We will continue to help the group as long as there is the support for it.”
The group’s next meeting is January 19, 2017, at 4SIGHT.