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Legally Blind Woman Sees With VISOR-like Device

Legally Blind Woman Sees With VISOR-like Device

Geordi La Forge would be proud. Yvonne Felix, a legally blind San Franciscan, can see, and quite well, too, with a device -- a battery-powered headset with liquid lens technology inside -- that resembles the VISOR that Geordi wore on Star Trek: The Next Generation. CNET, as part of their ongoing "Tech Enabled" series about the role techonology plays in helping the disability community, profiled Felix and delved, in tremendous detail, into how the eSight 3 has changed Felix's life.

"The eSight 3 has a camera that works with high-resolution displays and optical prisms in the headset to restore sight to those with low vision," writes CNET senior editor Lexy Savvides. "The video image is presented to the user in a way that can overcome the cause of their vision loss.

"'I remember putting them on and looking up and I saw my husband who I'd been married to for eight years and had never seen before," Felix tells me as we're looking over the San Francisco Bay. "And my 2-month-old son, who we had just brought home from the hospital and he was holding him and it was the most beautiful image, like it's burned in my mind for the rest of my life.'"

Felix, according to Savvides, was just seven years old when she lost her vision after a car struck her. Diagnosed with Stargardt disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration, she has a blind spot that blocks 98 percent of her visual field.

"Her condition is more suited to eSight than other low vision issues," the article explains. "Macular degeneration and sight loss from diabetes complications are more likely to benefit rather than glaucoma. In these cases, damage to the retina can be greater than eSight can resolve.

"Regardless, anyone can give eSight a try. CEO Dr. Brian Mech explained that eSight has a better than 50 percent chance of working with all conditions. 'The beautiful thing is it's not surgical, it's not medication, it's not a drug. So you can just try it on.'"

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