The Orcam MyEye 2.0 provides text-to-speech visual assistance for those who are visually impaired, partially sighted, blind, or have print, colour, dyslexia or other disabilities.
In its simplest form, it is a device that clips onto most standard pairs of glasses or sunglasses. It identifies text and speaks the word to you.
The world still uses text-based signage, street and warning signs, money, colours, supermarket barcodes, instructions on food packets and so much more. Orcam MyEye 2.0 is a dedicated text-to-speech processor that may make vision impaired users lives easier.
Orcam My Eye 2.0 (U.S website)
GadgetGuy was given a review unit to test out. I wish I could say this was an in-depth test but as a sighted person it is a little hard to imagine the world without it. As such our review paradigm was to try it in several situations like reading a new paper, identifying street and building signs, currency, food packet names and instructions.
Australian Distributors Quantum RLV (Reading/Learning/Vision) have a 30-year history of helping the sight impaired. It works closely with blindness agencies, ophthalmologists, optometrists, occupational therapists, teachers, parents and students and is an approved supplier to DVA and NDIS.
Out of the box
- The Orcam MyEye 2.0
- A pair of ‘dummy glasses with a magnetic side clip
- Spare mount clips (more are available at extra cost)
- Leather carry case and lanyard to secure the Orcam should it come unclipped
- USB 5V/1A charger and a flat rubberised USB-C to Micro-USB change/update cable
The first thing I learned is that sighted people take sight for granted. I opened the box, read the instructions, clipped it to a pair of glasses and felt ready to use it. Wrong.
While that sounds simple, it is best to have a sighted trainer to help you set it up. My initial results were nowhere near what the trainer achieved in our initial demonstration.
Orcam MyEye 2.0 specifications
The Orcam MyEye 2.0 is the latest version and is totally cable free. All the electronics are in the svelte, discrete unit. It measures 76.2mm x 20 x 12mm x 22g. The battery lasts about two hours and charging (we did this once) was about 40 minutes at 5V/1A. A 2A charger may have cut that time again. Orcam will announce the charge level left.
The front houses a small lens and two small LED lights for low light use. The rear has a microphone, micro-USB port and a power button.
The table below gives the best overview of its capabilities.
Orcam is ready!
Again, remember that we have not had the benefit of training – it was to use a bad pun the blind leading the blind. And guess what – it read the above sentence perfectly once we learned gestures.
Orcam recognised text via a pointing gesture. When the camera sees your fingertip pointing to an area, it reads the text indicated from left to right and then down to the next line etc.
Once you point, you hear a double chime and then a slight camera shutter. It then starts within a second or so and reads it to you. The trick is to get the gesture right, so it knows what block or text you want to read.