December 5, 2017

Headworn Video Devices Are Helping The Visually Impaired To See Better


Headworn Video Devices Are Helping The Visually Impaired To See Better

by Dan Roberts
(Updated 1/11/2019)

Portable electronic magnifiers have come a long way in the past decade, improving clarity of vision for thousands. A natural development for those who prefer to have their hands free has been the creation of several types of headworn video devices, the leaders in the field being eSight, NuEyes, and IrisVision. These devices are similar in their “smart” technology, but different enough to require diligent decision making.

To help with that, especially since high costs are involved, I have put together a basic comparison. I hope this will allow future purchasers to make educated decisions about which would best fit their needs.


eSight: Large white camera/screen unit held in place by an elastic strap.

NuEyes: Unit tilts up for bioptic viewing. Similar to large black, fit-over, wrap-around sunglasses.

IrisVision: Large white unit with adjustable strap and clips for attaching mobile phone (included).

Features eSight NuEyes IrisVision
Power Rechargeable battery Rechargeable battery Rechargeable battery
Cost $6,000 $4,000 $2,500
Insurance Private only Private only None at this time
Weight “Lightweight” .27 lbs (125 grams) 2 lbs (907 grams)
Magnification Variable up to 24X Variable up to 10x with detachable 2X lens for telescopic viewing Variable up to 12x
Speech None Reads text aloud None
Operation Wired to separate remote control interface Wireless and hands-free with optional voice control Wireless bluetooth remote. Requires Wi-Fi for updates.
Controls Color, contrast, brightness, auto focus Color, contrast, brightness, auto focus, font size adjustment Color, contrast, brightness, auto focus, bubble zoom, bioptic/split screen option

User criteria
Some general user criteria common to both products are:
• Diagnosis of a condition involving visual impairment
• Ability to read printed headlines without magnification
• Ability to keep head and neck steady
• Possession of some functional central vision
• Not to be used while ambulating

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