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Blind Low Vision Tech Demo

10 blind low vision group members sitting at table playing games and trying new technology devices

On Wednesday July 26, 2023, the Blind and Low Vision Group had a community event at The Whole Person from 5:30-7:30pm. We used Braille and large print UNO and Bingo cards, and I brought two Bop-Its and a Simon game from home. We also had Taylor with OrCam come and demonstrate the OrCam Read and OrCam MyEye devices.

The OrCam Read is a small device that feels like a pen with buttons down the front of it. There’s a camera on the bottom where the tip of the pen would be, and if you need to read a paper you hold it with the camera facing down, move it a little above the paper so there’s about a foot of space between it and the OrCam and press one of the buttons to take the picture.

The OrCam MyEye is smaller than the OrCam Read, and it clips onto a pair of glasses with a strong magnet. There is also a lanyard you can put around your neck so if it does fall off the glasses, it’ll fall around your neck instead of falling on the ground. With the glasses on, all you must do is face something and touch the touch bar on the device and it will start reading what you’re looking at. There is also a smart read feature. Say you’re reading a menu at a restaurant, and you just want to look at the pasta options. If you activate smart speak and say the word “pasta”, it will find everything pasta on that menu and only read that. You can also program it to recognize faces. If you take a picture of someone’s face, you can record your voice saying who they are so when you turn your face to them it’ll say their name you recorded. Those are just a few things they can do, there are so many more.

It was great seeing the consumers connect with each other and have a chance to talk in person. Between the games and technology demonstrations, it was a success. We’re planning on doing more events like this in the future!

Visit the OrCam website for more information on their devices which enrich people's daily experiences with personal assistive handheld and wearable AI devices that increase confidence and independence.

Contact Meghan Schmidt, TWP's Blind Low Vision Specialist, if you have any questions, or would like to join us at our next bowling event!  Email her at mschmidt@thewholeperson.org.  Join The Whole Person's Blind Low Vision Facebook Group to connect with other peers and get information on upcoming events.