A new technology called eSight is giving the gift of vision back to those that have lost it.
The electronic glasses aren’t without their limitations, but so far they have been able to do what no other device has.
Intended to help patients with severe (but not total) vision loss, eSight allows people to digitally enhance the world around them, allowing them to see fine details that would normally be unable to.
A small, high-speed digital camera is mounted on the front of the glasses, which then displays images on two LCD displays that are just a fraction of an inch away from the wearer’s eyes. They are then able to zoom, focus, and enhance the image of whatever it is they would like to look at, allowing them to effectively see clearly, albeit in small slices.
Eleven year old Emily Anderson is one of the lucky few that have been chosen to test the new tech, which has allowed her to see her best friend’s face for the very first time.
“I’ve just always wanted to see normal and I’ve always imagined it, so I just felt really, really, really happy, more happy than I’ve ever felt in my life,” she said. “It made me feel confident and brave, and not feeling like I was going to trip or fall.”
It’s not just helpful for people with severely blurry vision, either. People suffering from conditions like macular degeneration, which creates a blind spot in the center of a person’s field of view, can also benefit.
“As long as the person has peripheral vision we’re able to use that to almost overstep the blind spot,” said Alexandra Dalimonte, outreach coordinator for eSight. “We can fill in that gap that their natural sight can’t see anymore.”
Like any new tech, especially of the medical variety, eSight isn’t cheap. In fact, the headset is expected to cost approximately £10,000 ($15,000) at first, with the expectation that future models will fall in price drastically.