Apr 15, 2022
3 minutes reading
disclosures: Roberts does not report any relevant financial disclosures.
The Lighthouse Guild has opened its Technology Center in New York City, providing access to the latest tools and technology for the visually impaired.
Healio/OSN spoke to the President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild calvin w. Roberts, M.D., about the Technology Center and what people can expect from the new venture.
calvin w. Roberts
healio/OSN: What is the mission of the Technology Center?
Robert: Lighthouse Guild’s Technology Center is one of the most comprehensive premier assistive technology centers in the United States. The state-of-the-art hub is designed to support the community of visually impaired technology developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, academics and physicians. It is an all-in-one resource for eye care, rehabilitation and technology training and a facility where developers can test future innovations.
Healio/OSN: How is the experience?
Robert: The Technology Center provides individualized assessments by Lighthouse Guild experts to determine visual capacity, lifestyle, personal goals, and comfort with technology. The Lighthouse Guild Tech Center staff then works with each person to find the best devices or devices to meet their needs. Training is provided to ensure optimal use and safety. There are opportunities to try and learn technology solutions, such as wearable devices that convert text to speech, recognize faces and identify currencies, as well as devices that use virtual reality technology to maximize useful vision, magnifying glasses, closed-circuit television, computers and smart glasses. Some devices are also for sale.
Healio/OSN: Are there certain features? or technicalnologies in the center that you aare you excited about?
Robert: I am enthusiastic about our high-tech Smart Home. It features a kitchen, office and living room where visually impaired people can try out the latest technology to help them control their home environment, including voice-activated devices such as microwaves, ovens and refrigerators, as well as devices that can read labels, answer telephones, thermostats adjust and lock doors.
On the tech side, there’s a lot to be excited about, and these are just some of the devices that I think have a lot of potential to help people.
OrCam MyEye Pro is a small wireless camera that can be clipped onto the arm of any pair of glasses. The device allows blind people to ‘read’ their mail, recognize friends and even decipher money.
IrisVision uses the virtual reality platform to help people with low vision see better. Working with VR technology, the developers took a Samsung smartphone and mounted it on a VR headset. However, users are looking at the real world rather than a virtual world. The smartphone’s camera captures what’s in front of them and then remaps the scene to improve visibility.
We also have a portable video magnifier, the Onyx Deskset HD (Freedom Scientific), that adapts to multiple environments and tasks for productivity at school, work and home.
Healio/OSN: What are the goals for the future of the Technology Center?
Robert: We want to further expand the center’s offerings to help people with visual impairments achieve their goals. To help with that, we recently added Bryan Wolynski, OD, to the team. He will help us achieve those goals by leading our assistive technology initiatives.
The future focus will be on broadening the scope for research and development by enabling designers and scientists to bring their new products to beta testing and have them reviewed by our large community of people with visual impairments. Experts from Lighthouse Guild Technology Center will review the latest assistive technologies and provide consumer reports on them through our website.
We want to be a resource for visually impaired providers in the United States and beyond. That’s why we look forward to hosting technology conferences to share knowledge with others in the adaptive tech community.
Lighthouse Guild opens Technology Center for the blind or partially sighted. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/03/08/2399460/0/en/Lighthouse-Guild-Opens-Technology-Center-for-People-Who-are-Blind-or-Visually- Reduced.html. Published March 8, 2022. Accessed April 6, 2022.