Project Details

Close up image of an eye


Digital eyewear for people with low vision

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @eSightEyewear

  • Community Engagement
  • Health
  • Social Exclusion
  • Audiovisual
  • Physical Computing

Legal blindness is the inability to achieve better than 20/200 vision with spectacles on – even with visual aids, a legally blind person could not see from 20 feet an object which someone with perfect vision could see from 200 feet. Some legally blind people can see a small amount, but their eyes do not pick up enough for their brains to recognise what is being seen, and it is these people whose lives can be turned around with the invention of eSight glasses.

eSight digital glasses use a high-speed camera, video-processing software, a computer processor and high-quality video screens to project real-time images that allow the legally blind to see. The wearer can zoom in, refocus and adjust contrast for optimum vision.

Kathy Beitz saw her baby son on the day of his birth thanks to eSight, an experience she described as “such a good feeling”. She has been legally blind since childhood and had never seen a baby before. Mark Cornell lost his eyesight serving in the US Air Force. He was able to see for the first time in 20 years with the help of his “eye opening” eSight glasses.

At $15,000 per headset, this revolutionary technology is not cheap. eSight has pledged to help anyone who needs the glasses by supporting fundraising campaigns and putting organisers in touch with sponsors.

The glasses are only available in Canada and the USA, but the company is in the process of having the technology approved for Europe and the rest of the world.

At the moment only 140 people are using the glasses, but there are many more who could benefit. If you know a low-vision person who might be interested in eSight, visit for more information. 

Image 'The Eye' courtesy of Augusto Serna.

Last updated: 26th of June, 2015

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