April 15, 2022
3 minute read
Disclosures: Roberts does not report any relevant financial information.
The Lighthouse Guild has opened its Technology Center in New York City, providing access to the latest assistive devices and technologies for people with visual impairments.
Healio/OSN spoke with the President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild calwine w. Roberts, MD, about the Technology Center and what people can expect from the new company.
calwine w. Robert
Helio/OSN: What is the mission of the Technological Pole?
Robert: The Lighthouse Guild Technology Center is one of the most comprehensive assistive technology centers in the United States. The state-of-the-art hub is designed to foster the community of technology developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, academics and doctors with people with visual impairments. It is a one-stop resource for vision care, rehabilitation, and technology training and a facility where developers can test future innovations.
Helio/OSN: What is the experience like?
Robert: The Technology Center offers personalized assessments by Lighthouse Guild experts to determine visual ability, lifestyle, personal goals and comfort with technology. The Lighthouse Guild Tech Center staff then work with each person to find the best devices or appliances to meet their needs. Training to ensure optimal use and safety is provided. There are opportunities to try and learn to use technology solutions, such as wearable devices that convert text to speech, recognize faces and identify currency, as well as devices that use virtual reality technology to maximize useful vision, magnifying glasses, closed circuit televisions, computers and smart glasses. Some devices are also available for purchase.
Healio/OSN: are there any special characteristics or technologynologies in the center that you aare you excited?
Robert: I am enthusiastic about our high-tech Smart Home. It includes a kitchen, office and living room where people with vision loss can try out the latest technology to help them control their home environment, including voice-activated appliances such as microwave ovens, ovens and refrigerators, as well as devices capable of reading tags, answering phones, adjusting thermostats and locking doors.
On the tech side, there’s a lot to be excited about, and these are just a few of the devices that I think have a lot of potential to help people.
OrCam MyEye Pro is a small wireless camera that clips 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 visually impaired people see better. The developers worked with VR technology, taking a Samsung smartphone and mounting it to a VR headset. However, users are watching the real world instead of watching a virtual world. The smartphone camera captures what’s in front of them, then remaps the scene to improve its visibility.
We also have a portable video magnifier called Onyx Deskset HD (Freedom Scientific) that adapts to multiple environments and tasks for productivity at school, work and home.
Healio/OSN: what are the objectives for the future of the Technological Pole?
Robert: We want to further expand the center’s offerings to help people with visual impairments achieve their goals. To accomplish this, we recently added Bryan Wolynski, OD, to the team. He will help us achieve these goals by leading our assistive technology initiatives.
The future goal will be to broaden the scope of research and development by allowing designers and scientists to bring their new products that require beta testing and have them reviewed by our large community of visually impaired people. Experts at the Lighthouse Guild Technology Center will review the latest assistive technologies and provide consumer reports on them via our website.
We want to be a resource for low vision providers across the United States and abroad. To that end, we look forward to hosting technology conferences to share our knowledge with other members of the adaptive technology community.
Lighthouse Guild opens a technology center for people who are blind or visually impaired. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/03/08/2399460/0/en/Lighthouse-Guild-Opens-Technology-Center-for-People-Who-are-Blind-or-Visually- Impaired.html. Published March 8, 2022. Accessed April 6, 2022.