eSight Debuts 'Intelligent Eyewear' for Low Vision Patients

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eSight, a Canadian company based in Ottawa, Ontario, is launching what it calls "a new class of wearable, electronic assistive technology designed specifically for low vision." eSight Eyewear modifies whatever the wearer is looking at to maximize the effectiveness of their remaining eyesight, according to the company.

eSight Eyewear incorporates a high-resolution video camera and a bright, high-contrast, "virtual" display for each eye. By enhancing the image that the eyes see, eSight Eyewear can help to improve the wearer's functional vision, the company said. Working with a vision specialist, patients can choose the video processing algorithms that work best for them, including zoom in/out, contrast and color optimization, edge enhancement and brightness control.

"After years of development, it is very exciting to be able to bring eSight Eyewear to people with low vision and legal blindness," Kevin Rankin, president and CEO of eSight Corp., told Eye2. "We have witnessed how eSight Eyewear has helped individuals to read, to see faces of loved ones, to engage more fully in their surroundings at home and at work and we now look forward to making our product available more broadly in 2013."

eSight glasses may be helpful for people with Macular Degeneration, Stargardt's Disease, Ocular Albinism, Diabetic Retinopathy, Leber's Disease, some forms of Retinitis Pigmentosa, Glaucoma, Cone-Rod Dystrophy and other low vision conditions, according to eSight. The eyewear is most effective for those with acuity between 20:60 and 20:400, whose field of view is greater than 15 degrees, the company said. eSight Eyewear includes the patient's prescription lenses and is custom fit for maximum comfort.

The glasses run on rechargeable batteries that last about four hours. Like a cell phone, the battery is charged by plugging in the eSight Eyewear overnight. Wearers can charge the glasses while using them.

eSight glasses are currently available at low vision clinics in Toronto, Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa. They can be purchased with a $1,450 down payment and less than $300 per month (based on three-year financing), according to eSight. Financing options are available in both the U.S. and Canada. eSight offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.