A portable low-vision aid system we just discovered, developed by Vuzix of Rochester, NY, is designed to help aid those who suffer from visual impairments like Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. The Sightmate is worn like glasses and uses a 2 megapixel camera with edge detection, contrast enhancement and optical zoom to improve the user’s visual acuity.
The Sightmate contains twin high-resolution 640×480 full color 24 bit LCD displays with a 2 mega pixel digital imager. It’s zoom capability close-up is set to 16 inches with a 3X Optical Zoom and 4X Digital Zoom and its distance zoom at 20 feet has a magnification of 0.5X – 6X. The system also helps improve color blindness with an adjustable algorithm that is activated by a button on the Sightmate controller. The unit also has image inversion and snap and pan capabilities.
The SightMate LV920 vision tool can help approximately 40 to 60 percent of patients improve their visual acuity, and hence their quality of life. Tests have demonstrated that people with a 20/70 to 20/200 acuity in their better eye have been able to increase their reading and distance acuity to the range of 20/20 to 20/40 using their remaining peripheral vision while wearing the SightMate. SightMate improves the visual acuity of individuals with central vision loss by allowing them to magnify images or text and pan across it. The magnified images or text are viewed by vision that has not been lost to disease.