BOSTON – A legally blind man in the US has used the inspiration of a pair of smartglasses to hold a second wedding with his wife so he can see her on their big day.
Andrew Airey lives with Stargardt’s disease, a form of macular degeneration, and his eyesight has deteriorated over the past 20 years. He’s legally blind, which has made life with his wife, Kelli, and their three daughters challenging in some ways. He said one of the biggest challenges is “not being able to see my wife’s facial expressions.”
But he has now been able to recreate the day and see the whole experience, thanks to an eSight 3 headset.
A pair of eSight 3 smart glasses have given Airey something close to 20/20 vision. Recently Airey and his family were able to recreate their wedding while he wore the device. The wedding was at the same church from 15 years ago and the ceremony included the same cake and many of the same guests.
The glasses are designed to help those registered blind but who retain low levels of vision – as 85% of those registered blind do according to the World Health Organization.
The wedding film shows how emotional restoring Airey’s vision was for him and his family. Like he said, living with Stargardt’s disease has made little things more difficult – there are many things that we take for granted, like seeing our partner’s eyebrows.
“From struggling to see my loved ones’ faces to being unable to drive or work to not being able to simply read without multiple magnification devices, my vision has challenged me in ways I did not expect when I was first diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease,” he said.
The glasses, which look like a VR headset, have an HD camera and two sensors up front and inside have two screens and prisms, a processor and a small battery pack. When Airey wore them at his second wedding he was seeing images from the camera and sensor that were displayed on the small screens in front of his eyes. The video shows what the wedding day looked like from Airey’s glasses.
Biopic Tilt technology
eSight says the glasses use a patented Biopic Tilt technology, which allows users to adjust the device to a precise position that maximises their peripheral vision. The firm says this also helps to prevent nausea and helps balance when wearing the device.
A connected remote also enables wearers to adjust the picture settings to suit them.
On their website, eSight encourages anyone seeking vision help to get in touch but while the cost of eSight has reduced, they say, the eSight 3 still cost just under $10,000.