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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

What's New with OrCam MyEye and OrCam Read

Date & Time
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 3:20 PM PST  
Orange County  
There are about 253 million people who are blind or visually impaired. The Centers for Disease Control estimates there are 4 million in the US. However, a 2018 National Health Interview Survey by the National Institute of Health (NIH) estimated that 32.2 million adult Americans identified as having a visual impairment, even with vision correction, representing 13% of the population. Given these numbers and an NIH report that the number of people in the US who are blind or visually impaired will double by 2050, accessibility needs to be a priority. The most common complaint by visually impaired people is the inability to see to read. Much of what occurs during a low vision assessment and vision rehabilitation is centered on reading tasks. It has been suggested that computer vision being used as an assistive technology may help in the future. Along with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, computer vision is the concept behind the OrCam MyEye and OrCam Read assistive devices. OrCam has developed two devices designed for blind or visually impaired people. They include the wearable MyEye and the handheld Read. While the MyEye can be used by blind or visually impaired, the OrCam Read is generally meant for low vision. However, there have been some users who are blind. The Read device also benefits anyone with a reading challenge, opening use to people with dyslexia, traumatic brain injury, and stroke survivors. The MyEye device is about finger size, weighs less than an ounce, and attaches to most eyeglasses. Through a 13-megapixel camera, the device takes a picture and speaks certain information it sees through a speaker or connects to a Bluetooth device of the user's choice. Specific functions include reading (off any surface), recognition of faces, products, bar codes, color, and money. The MyEye device is activated and controlled via hand gestures, taps, and swipes on a touch bar, a companion app, or voice commands. The device does not depend on connectivity and is portable to be used anywhere, whether at school, work, home, or while traveling. The OrCam Read is about the size of a large magic marker. It is held like a pen, and with a click of a button, the device takes a picture and starts auditorily reading. Two reading modes utilize two different laser light indicators, allowing someone to start from anywhere or outline an area to read a section or a whole page. Over the past year, software updates, new features, and improvements have been implemented. New features have included "Smart Reading" and a beta version of "Orientation." Through specially developed natural language understanding technology, Smart Reading allows someone to interact and speak with the device using simple voice commands to tell the device where and what to read. In Beta version, the Orientation feature identifies doorways and objects in a room. Another new feature, "hey OrCam," allows for additional voice activation and usability. Someone says "hey OrCam," followed by a voice command that allows someone to enter learning modes or change and customize settings. Limiting characteristics of OrCam use include people who are deaf. However, it can be used by someone with hearing aids, people with head or hand tremors like someone with Parkinson's, declining cognitive ability, poor auditory comprehension, or unrealistic expectations. Non-limiting factors include the type of eye disease or vision loss, age, or experience with assistive technology. This presentation will discuss the OrCam MyEye and Read technologies, recent updates, features, and benefits. The discussion will be conducted by a low vision optometrist who has experience working with the technology and discusses best practices and patient experiences with the future of AI and computer-assisted vision technology.  
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
  • Government
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Employment & Human Resources
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Recent updates, features, and benefits on the OrCam MyEye and Read technologies. This session, conducted by a low vision optometrist with working experience of the technology, discusses best practices, patient experiences, and the future of artificial intelligence and computer-assisted vision technology.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML)
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Education
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Independent Living


  • Michelle Mendez

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