Spy-like technology ‘life changing’ for Lismore man
LISMORE man John Zambelli has only ever known a blurry world, but to his delight, a small, seemingly unassuming device has changed his life forever.
If you visit Aruma's Lismore office it's likely that you will be greeted by John at reception.
He has vision impairment and struggles to see fine details ‒ facial expressions, body language and distant objects are challenging.
But, like something you could expect in a spy movie, a revolutionary new camera using text and object recognition technology has meant John is capable of things he could previously only imagine doing.
The OrCam MyEye 2, is a second set of eyes.
The tiny camera attaches to glasses, and text and visual images are read aloud to the user, enabling people with low vision to instantly and discretely read text, recognise faces, as well as identify products and barcodes, money notes, and even describe colours.
"I use it to read instructions on the back of things, especially at home," John said.
"It's very handy at work, if I'm in a meeting to be able to quite quickly read a document.
"It's got a lot of good uses and it's always receiving updates so it's always improving.
"At home, the OrCam will assist me to quickly read cooking instructions and help me identify whether I have picked up black or navy clothes.
"Outside of home, the OrCam vastly improves my independence by helping me to read café menus, street signs and identify faces.
"Before I would either need to use my phone and take a snapshot of the cafe menu and then try and zoom in and read it … or rely on someone else to read it for me, which takes away from my independence.
"If I am reading it like that, nine times out of 10 I would give up halfway through and just choose something.
"This has vastly changed my life because I can pretty much skim through the whole thing because it can follow my finger."
The MyEye 2 can tell you when a particular person is approaching, or otherwise say "a man/woman is in front of you".
Received through his NDIS plan, John said the OrCam MyEye 2 was "life-changing".
"By identifying people, the OrCam will improve the customer experience I provide. And, by reading paper documents quickly, it allows me to make better use of my time and keep up with the pace of discussion in meetings.
"The OrCam is an amazing piece of equipment that is changing my world, both at work and beyond."