Headworn Video Devices Are Helping The Visually Impaired To See Better

by Dan Roberts

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.

Large white camera/screen unit held in place by an elastic strap.
Rechargeable battery.
Variable magnification up to 24X.
No speech function.
Wired to separate remote control interface.
Controls for color, contrast, brightness, auto focus.
Website: https://esighteyewear.com

Rechargeable battery.
.27 lbs (125 grams).
Variable magnification up to 10x with detachable 2X lens for telescopic viewing.
Unit tilts up for bioptic viewing. Similar to large black, fit-over, wrap-around sunglasses.
Reads text aloud.
Wireless and hands-free with optional voice control.
Controls for color, contrast, brightness, auto focus, font size adjustment.
Website: https://www.nueyes.com

Large white unit with adjustable strap and clips for attaching mobile phone (included).
Rechargeable battery.
2 lbs (907 grams).
Variable magnification up to 12x.
Wireless bluetooth remote. Requires Wi-Fi for updates.
Controls for color, contrast, brightness, auto focus, bubble zoom, bioptic/split screen option
Website: https://www.irisvision.com

Some general user criteria common to all three 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