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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Werkmeister

Regaining Vision and Independence Through a Wearable Visual Aid

What happens when you combine augment reality (AR) visual aid software and a cellular phone in the shape of fancy eyewear? This isn’t science fiction -- this is EYE3. An innovative and life-changing product that is transforming everyday life for those who have lost their independence due to vision loss, attributed to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or other retinal disorders.

How common is AMD and retinal disorders?

AMD impacts nearly 200 million people worldwide every day and is a leading cause of vision loss for those over 60. For many years, eye care specialists have sought to find a solution for this unmet and growing need. There is currently no cure, no therapy, and sadly, very little hope for those who deal with the Dry Form of AMD, which is 90% of all cases. Because AMD is chronic, it causes the deterioration of a person’s central vision so they can no longer see what is directly in front of them. Over time, AMD robs people of their ability to do simple things like read a newspaper, order from a restaurant menu, work at a computer, shop for groceries or simply flip through magazine.

How Does EYE3 Work?

When we think of augmented reality, we tend to think of a completely immersive fantasy-like experience encased in a large cumbersome headpiece. EYE3 is a very different type of augmented reality hardware; it works by optimizing the user’s peripheral vision within a small electronic driven device, shaped like a pair of eyeglasses. It captures the image of the object in front of them through the built-in camera then the software enhances that image and re-displays it on the micro-displays in front of the user’s eyes.

One of the best features of the EYE3 is that the software is completely adaptable and very intuitive, knowing when it needs to read text and then modifies the image accordingly. It also contains a high-resolution and wide field of vision for improved visual acuity. Because the EYE3 eyeglasses are designed to be hands free and not impede mobility, they are ideal for those managing a wide variety of tasks, whether it be playing a piano, grocery shopping, reading a newspaper or working at a computer. Essentially, the EYE3 opens up the entire field of view for the user to better experience the world in front of them.

Is there any clinical data?

To better understand the efficacy, Eyedaptic ran a clinical study (even though this is not required for an FDA Class I exempt device) to demonstrate to the eye care community its clinical utility. There were two main end points: 1.) visual acuity in reading; using these glasses users gained 18 letters on the eye chart over their regular glasses, thereby doubling their visual acuity. 2.) The other and perhaps more important end point is how the eyewear was used to facilitate completion of simple ordinary daily tasks: activities like perusing a menu or spotting a specific type of canned good on the shelf at the market and actually being able to read it. The clinical study reported a doubling in visual acuity and a 5x improvement in daily activities. Recently new data shows a further doubling of visual acuity when using EYE3, Eyedaptic’s newest product launched in June 2021. These are incredibly touching and empowering experiences for those who had been struggling with low vision and a complete loss of independence and a compromised quality of life.

Meet EYE3 User Lowell

Lowell is a former woodworker and a retired WWII veteran. He has remained active in his line of construction work, even well into his 90’s. Though his health is good, Lowell struggles with dry AMD and deteriorated vision. With the Eyedaptic eyewear Lowell has regained his freedom and independence. Everyday tasks as simple as visiting the grocery store and selecting his favorite cheese have taken on a whole new meaning, because now he can see what he is reaching for.

Who is behind the lens of EYE3?

Eyedaptic is an early-stage visual aid software company, powered by augmented reality (AR) hardware, supported by a strong patent portfolio. The proprietary software goes beyond magnification to enable a fuller field of vision, which is key to those with central vision loss. Eyedaptic’s founders brings many years of deep technology backgrounds, as well as multiple successful exits and medical ophthalmology and retinal expertise. In addition, after working with hundreds of patients, a strategic partnership was formed with Vispero, the world leader in low vision aids, to help drive the product expansion throughout the USA as well as the rest of the world.

It seems we are finally getting closer to a time when those with AMD and other retinal issues may one day simply don a pair of special eyeglasses and in a matter of seconds, regain the life and independence they once lost. Clearly, EYE3 is more than a fancy pair of space-age eyewear; it is a powerful device, enabling users to regain their independence, their quality of life and perhaps even more importantly, it is restoring hope to a generation of people in search of a solution for their vision loss.

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