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The device that could change life for the visually impaired

The device that could change life for the visually impaired
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For the visually impaired, the supermarket can be a daunting place to visit. Buying groceries is not an easy task when you have trouble seeing.

But for people like Liat Negris, life is about to become a lot easier.

By wearing the OrCam, Negrin can point to what she wants to read and the device will do it for her.

She said: “It gives me independence, you know, I can do anything by myself. I don’t need favours, I don’t need to be escorted anywhere, I can go to new places without memorising again and again the way”.

The Israeli start-up company, OrCam technologies created the pocket-sized computer using a sensitive camera and sophisticated algorithms.

The camera can be attached to a pair of glasses and scans what appears before it. The device is programmed to recognise a finger, and when the user points to a sign, a newspaper, a traffic light and more, it can read what appears in front of it.

Chairman of OrCam Technologies, Amnon Shashua, said:“People with low vision, they see something but not enough in order to manage their daily lives. So we were thinking about, assume that you have a helper standing beside you, looking to the same direction you are looking at and understands what you are seeing and understands what kind of information you want to get out of the scene.”

The OrCam uses bone-conduction technology, which conducts sound to the ear through the bones of the skull rather than by using an ear piece, so the user’s ear is not obstructed.

It can read bus numbers and red or green signals at pedestrian crossings. It knows how to recognise new products and even faces.

The device can also be used by people who are totally blind, but because a blind person is unable to point exactly at what they want to have read, it must be used differently.