According to World Health Organisation figures there are an estimated 285 million people in the world who are visually impaired, of which 39 million are medically blind. For these people, everyday tasks like reading, working, or even socialising can be both challenging and isolating.
But what if there was a way to restore their sight and improve their quality of life?
In this blog, we’ll introduce you to eSight. A breakthrough device that assists people with vision impairment and legal blindness to see clearer than ever before.
The eSight Device
Developed by Canadian-based, eSight Corp, the eSight device uses advanced technology to provide enhanced vision to people with various eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, Stargardt disease, and more. The device can assist users with visual acuity ranging from 20/60 to 20/800 to reach 20/20 vision, with individuals outside of this zone still benefitting from measurable visual improvement.
The device is made up of three main components: a headset, a controller, and a battery. Worn like a pair of glasses, the headset contains high-resolution cameras that capture the wearer’s environment in real-time as the handheld controller allows them to adjust the settings of the device with features in real-time like zoom, contrast, focus, and colour.
How Does it Work?
Footage recorded by the device is then processed and enhanced by a clinically validated algorithm to enhance them based on the user’s needs. Next, the images are projected onto two high-resolution OLED screens in front of the user’s eyes creating a binocular view that preserves their peripheral vision and depth perception – with the added option of tilting the screens up or down depending on if they wish to use their natural or enhanced vision.
According to the eSight team, the device is the only one on the market that enables the user to move around without causing issues of imbalance or nausea that can be common with other immersive options. Achieved by providing sight with zero latency (the time it takes the image to move from the camera to the screens) and a light, compact headset with minimal cabling, reviews confirm the products are a comfortable fit for all-day use.
As you’d probably expect, the eSight device has one rather expensive catch. Each pair of glasses are priced at around £5,500 for a one-off purchase or £232 per month on their rental scheme. Whilst this may be prohibitively expensive, it’s good to remember that the technology is still in its early days and as it becomes more established, the price may lower too.
Medical Trials and Effectiveness
The eSight glasses are a Class 1 medical device registered with the FDA designed to improve the user’s ability to recognise small details at a distance, enhance reading performance, balance contrast sensitivity, and help with facial recognition. These claims were backed up in their 2018 clinical trials where patients showed a 7-line gain in distance acuity, 100% mobility retention, 12-letter contrast improvement and improved quality of life through more ease of daily living.
However, it should also be reiterated that the eSight device is not a cure for blindness, but it can significantly improve some users’ ability to perform everyday tasks such as reading or socialising; allowing them to take back some agency for themselves.
eSight is a remarkable innovation that can really help people with vision impairment and legal blindness see the world better than ever before whilst maintaining mobility and independence. It offers a huge range of benefits to its users, but its high cost and variable effectiveness depending on the users’ eye conditions confirms the fact that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a personalised option that requires much consideration and professional consultation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the eSight device or are interested in trying it for yourself, you can find more information on the eSight website here or by consulting your eye care professional.