“Every five seconds, someone in the world goes blind.” There are over 36 million blind people by some form of vision impairment – Being Legally blind one of them.
A shocking statistic. Being blind and living with a blind person is one of the most challenging things in the world. Low vision is another form of blindness, termed Legally Blind by health authorities.
People with low vision experience a varied descent into blindness. It is a very painful journey, both physically and emotionally, especially if you are not getting the right guidance, medical care and treatment.
There are countless solutions and treatments for low vision conditions, but not every solution works for every condition.
Out of all the eye diseases out there, the ones with the highest affecting rates across the globe are macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve damage, etc.
Low Vision Problems
First let’s get clear on one thing, different low vision conditions come with different problems. Let me show you a few scenarios of different eye diseases and how a person, with that eye problem, would see the world.
Vision with cataracts
Vision with Retinitis Pigmentosa
Vision with Glaucoma
And this changes with the severity of the disease.
These pictures make it clear that normal eyesight glasses don’t really work for such people, and if by some chance they do, you have to keep changing them with the worsening of symptoms.
There are 188.5 million people with mild vision impairment and 217 million with moderate to severe vision impairment, when it comes to compromised distance vision. With near vision impairment, the number of affected people goes to 826 million.
Talk about the emotional toll it puts on the lives of these people and their loved ones. Most people with eye problems like macular degeneration have never seen the face of their grandchild! I say that because macular degeneration is mostly common in old people. That is why it is also called Age related macular degeneration.
Most people, without the right solutions, end up withdrawn from life and socially unavailable.
Low Vision solutions
Luckily, there are many solutions to various low vision conditions. Sometimes the right health plans work, sometime a surgery helps. But for the times they don’t, when one is looking for some out of the box solution, low vision aids come in handy. And I am talking about a specific low vision aid, ‘IrisVision’.
An absolute marvel, IrisVision is a VR based low vision solution that assists the legally blind in seeing the world more clearly and live more independently. It comes with a Samsung VR headset and an IrisVision display unit (Samsung S7 Smartphone). It has amazing features that improve the eyesight of people with low vision conditions and allows them to see the world without any intervention from outside, be it help from a person, an invasive surgery or anything else. It gives you complete control over what you want to see, and restores a sense of independence.
What is IrisVision
As I mentioned above, it is a VR based low vision headset. A device capable of enhancing what the eye normally sees.
IrisVision, a medtech startup headquartered in California, developed a clinically tested and low-cost visual aid system for people with low vision. Dr. Frank Werblin conducted extensive research into eye problems and the workings of the retina.
He truly understood the problems of the low vision community and knew what he wanted to create. Together, with eye experts and tech industry veterans, they came up with a low vision aid that helps multiple eye conditions. The IrisVision system currently harnesses the power of a Samsung Galaxy Smartphone mounted on top of a Samsung Gear VR headset.
The phone captures the scenes through its high definition camera, remaps and enhances them, and you get a crisp visibility of the reality around you. This scene enhancement is performed using multiple algorithms developed for various eye conditions.
When you unbox the product, here is what you will find.
- IrisVision Display Unit
- Wireless Charging Pad
- Fast Charger & Cable
- Magnetic USB Cable
- Carrying Case
- Warranty Card
As I said earlier, not every solution is for every eye condition. But people with macular degeneration (wet and dry), optic nerve damage, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, cataracts and other diseases with similar symptoms can be helped by IrisVision.
Let’s explore the Features of IrisVision
Over to the facts, what make IrisVision great? You will see it is not just a magnifying aid with brightness control. It has a great set of features and different modes. The usability is extremely user friendly. It requires minimal user interaction and the whole system is very responsive, robust and sharp.
Here is a list of IrisVision features:
- Focus Setting
- Live Views
- Scene Mode
- RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa) Mode
- Bioptic Mode
- Television Mode
- Reading Modes (Black & white and Inverted)
- Line reading mode
- Reading Mode (Green, Yellow)
- Brightness & Contrast Setting
- Scene Capture
- Zoom In/Out capabilities
- Bubble View
- Wifi connectivity
- Audio Prompts
- Wire & Wireless Charging
For more information on how these features work and usage, read here on how IrisVision works.
Up till now, IrisVision is the only low vision aid with the most innovative zooming capability and that too with a sharp and crisp picture quality, especially the “IrisBubble” feature. It is a special kind of zooming ability, which removes the ‘tunnel view’ and gives a nice zoomed in/out view and keeps the rest of the contextual information intact. This is super handy for people with blur spots in their vision.
Any testimonials and reviews I have seen so far simply overwhelmed me. IrisVision is a great product, of ingenuity and innovation. Created by eye experts and specialists, it deals with eye problems like no other low vision aid does. Don’t take my word for it; here are some of the IrisVision reviews I found.
IrisVision reviews: Customer stories from around the world
I was honestly quite skeptical walking in the door, especially knowing how much similar devices cost; but, I quickly drank their Koolade and was amazed how much it helped my vision (normally I can read 42pt Arial Bold font with my nose pressed against the page.) Did it magically fix my eyes? Of course not; however, it allowed me to see things I have never been able to see feet away when I would have to have it an inch or two from my “good” eye. Very impressed! A big thank you to the team who brought this product to market!!! —Hy Cohen, Full-Time Assistive Technology Specialist (instructor & assesses clients for best options for assistive Technology), Stockton, CA.
Facebook review by Hy Cohen – Rated IrisVision 5 stars
Iris vision is truly an amazing technology! I thank the Visionaries who imagined this software and made it a reality! Since I’ve had my device, I have found an overwhelming sense of Independence. When I first tried them on, I was able to see my daughter’s smiling face, my husband’s blue eyes, read menus books and articles that I would never be able to just pick up while we are out. I can go on and on about my life altering experiences, but I don’t think I’d have enough space!
Facebook review by Myrna Wilkins – Rated IrisVision 5 stars
“I have been visually impaired for 17 years. It stemmed from an accident and progressed into Macular Degeneration. When I lost my sight I lost independence at the early age of 50. The IrisVision has been a rebirth of my sight. It would be the equivalent of giving a person who could not walk a wheelchair or a person who could not hear a hearing aid. It has allowed me to see my loved ones’ faces which I have not seen in 17 years! When I saw my grandson, I could see the ketchup on the side of his mouth. I said, “did you have ketchup and fries for lunch?” The potential for the IrisVision is tremendous.”
Personal Quote from Lou, Macular Degeneration
“My name is Lannie Dennis. I would like to thank the people who invented Iris Vision. These glasses have really changed my life style. Not only I can see better but I can read a book. I used to use depend on my Kindle Tablet to make the letters bigger. Also my grandson who plays football, lacrosse and basketball, people would say there he goes, he made a touchdown. But I couldn’t see him. But now I can enjoy his games. I can now see my Pastor, not only listen to him, but see him. Also at meetings I can see speakers clearer. The Lord has blessed me with these glasses and to connect with Iris Vision. The reps are always patient with me professional and always answer all of my questions. I thank God for them too and also my Low Vision Optometrist Dr. Azman and the Low Vision Specialists of MD & VA for showing me these glasses.”
Personal Quote from Lannie, Optic Nerve Damage
Here is a priceless reaction of Trish, diagnosed with JMD (Juvenile Stargardt Macular Dystrophy ) since the age of 9. She tries on IrisVision for the first time and is overwhelmed and overjoyed by what she sees.
For the skeptics out there, I found a great video by The Blind Life. A person, having a low vision condition himself, has tried various other low vision aids, but found IrisVision outmatching them all.
My final thoughts? If you or a loved one has some form of eye disease resulting in a low vision condition, I highly recommend using IrisVision. You can buy IrisVision via multiple plans. Either by paying in full or by monthly installments. Another good thing about IrisVIsion.