These Glasses Read Text Out Loud To People Who Are Visually Impaired


Raise your glasses!

OrCam is a device that reads text aloud to people who are visually impaired or legally blind. All someone has to do is attach the device to their glasses, point at text and the gabby gizmo will speak the words into their ear.

Wearers can also program the OrCam device to recognize commercial products, personal items and people’s faces.

For instance, if you wanted your device to recognize a specific person’s face, you would stand in front of that person, push a button and say that person's name.

"From then on the camera, the computer has recognized you, memorized who you are, and every time you turn your head and look at that person, it will tell you their name," Tom Perski, senior vice-president for rehabilitation at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, told ABC.

The device, which costs between $2,500 and $3,500 apiece, includes two pieces — a base and head unit. The base unit, which acts as a computer, is about the size of a glasses case and can fit in one’s pocket. The head unit, which weighs less than an ounce and clips onto glasses’ frames with a magnet, includes a mini camera and a bone-conduction speaker to offer clear speech to the user.

“The OrCam will take a picture of that section of the text, send it to the processor which will then make it into words and then the words will speak it our loud back to the processor. All within a few seconds," Perski told ABC.

This kind of technology can be life-changing to those who have macular degeneration, Stargardt disease or one of many other conditions that cannot be corrected by glasses or surgery who have to rely on cumbersome devices to read books, newspapers, menus and signs.

“It’s like having a friend read to you,” Moshe Fischer, who has been legally blind from childhood, said in the above video. “Reading the newspaper has become a really relaxing experience now. I’m able to sit back, scan the newspaper quickly and read it in a comfortable easy chair rather than sitting a table, holding a magnifying glass.”

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