High-tech goggles help legally blind girl see better
Published Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:08AM EDT
An Ontario girl who is legally blind says that a computerized pair of goggles that help her see has improved many aspects of her daily life.
Emma-Rose Gibson, 9, told CTV's Canada AM that, thanks to the glasses from eSight Corporation, she can now see things better at school.
Before getting the glasses from eSight, Gibson – who has a condition called optic nerve hypoplasia – couldn't see clearly more than a few centimetres in front of her.
But now, with the glasses that's all changed.
"I get to see my friends do presentations," she said Thursday.
Gibson, who is an avid piano player, also said the glasses have helped her with her playing, because she can see the notes better.
It's also allowed her to take in the performances of her friends and family, she said.
"I got to see my cousin perform at her recital," she said. "I love music."
Kevin Rankin, president and CEO of the Kanata, Ont.-based eSight, said the glasses can help anyone who has low vision or who is legally blind, by allowing them to optimize the use of their remaining vision.
He told CTV's Canada AM that the glasses are equipped with a high-resolution video camera that captures whatever the wearer is looking at.
"That image is sent down to a small sophisticated computer. The image is then manipulated and sent back up to two tiny LED screens– like mini TVs," he said. It is these modified images that allow the viewer to see details, he added.
Rankin said helping people like Gibson see better is "incredibly rewarding." He hopes the company will be able to help many others.
"It's an incredible opportunity and we really want to be able to work with people to help them enjoy some of the small things and add to their quality of life," he said.
Rankin said it was Gibson's grandparents who heard about the product and arranged to visit him at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.