There is a definite wow factor with the latest addition to OrCam’s growing stable of intelligent low vision aids; the OrCam Read. It lives up to its billing as a handheld reader with artificial intelligence (AI) reliably reading back text captured at the simple press of a button. Using Read couldn’t be easier; it fits neatly into the palm of the hand and is operated by pointing at the required text. A trigger button is pressed and the text is highlighted with a red laser light. The unit also has a bright LED which will automatically light up the reading area. Text from books, menus, labels and screen is captured using the device’s camera. Once captured the text is then read out.

Read’s AI offers the flexibility to tailor operation to the user’s need. The unit can be programmed to select text in different ways and to only read chosen text, such as headlines. Programming is through voice control or a scroll through menu in the device and covers everything from language translation, to volume and speed of playback. It has a headphone jack, is Bluetooth compatible and doesn’t require WiFi .

OrCam suggests Read for those with moderate to mild vision loss or those with reading difficulties. It is now working direct with optical practices to offer the device top patients.

Read presents a great low vision aid, especially for those less supported due to lockdown. While Read’s compact size and smartness might prove an issue for some users OrCam has a comprehensive training programme in place to help practitioners and users get the best from this impressive little device.