By Tom Perski,
Vice President of Professional and Consumer Outreach at IrisVision
As with many types of technology for persons with vision loss, many see great results quite quickly – the IrisVision even more so! Initially when looking at faces, a magnified image with vivid colors and sharp detail allows someone to immediately see features and even subtle expressions the first few minutes – sometimes even overwhelming to so many who were not expecting it.
The main control is a touchpad on the headset. Using the index finger to make swiping
gestures in and out on the touchpad, the magnification level is easily controlled and can
be adjusted by the user for each task they want to see. These swipes only take several
minutes to learn but are an important skill that will take practice. Each task you wish to
view may need a certain level of magnification and these adjustments take practice over
several days and weeks.
To practice with the IrisVision means that as you start to use it for many different tasks
like reading, watching TV, seeing the buttons on the microwave or numbers on the
thermostat. At first, users lose their place as they magnify, this is normal. Learning to
aim gets better and better over time. For instance, looking up to see a clock on the wall
could start out being easy to see at low magnification. To zoom in and magnify the
detail, often a person might lose their place for the first several attempts. The skill of
finding things at higher levels of magnification gets better and better over time. Also, the
skill of zooming out to lower magnification and then quickly zooming back in will get
much better over several days and weeks. Almost all IrisVision wearers become
excellent at doing this over a relatively short time if they are willing to practice. With
IrisVision offering a 30 day, no risk trial, potential users can take advantage of learning
to use IrisVision in their own home or work place day after day. This also gives an
opportunity to see how it works in your own environment, on your own TV set or taking it
places to see how it helps in many situations like at a museum, concert or play or
outside in your garden. Many also use it for sporting events or watching children or
grandchildren play sports.
For reading, we include some practice text and let people know it also will take practice
to read small print. Reading magnified text has some of the same problems at first
where persons can skip a line from time to time or end up reading the same line twice.
Our exercise booklet starts with larger print with more space in between lines and then
gets smaller and single spaced as the pages progress to standard text. It is important to
read for a twenty minute period several times a day using these types of exercises. It is
also best to not skip a day. Most everyone can note their own progress over days and
weeks with regular effort.