The IrisVision® Advantage

Wearable video magnifier provides visual independence.

For 15 years, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) slowly robbed Sherwood White of his vision. In the beginning, he was given injections of medication into his eyes, which slowed the disease’s progression for a while, but didn’t stop it. Three and a half years ago, his eyes registered 20/200 on an eye test, and he was declared legally blind.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

IrisVision has given Sherwood, who is legally blind, new sight

“At first, the AMD was just in one eye, then it affected both of them,” shares the semi-retired financial advisor. “I knew something was wrong when the television started looking squiggly, and I needed to have really good light to read.
“I eventually reached a point when I couldn’t see my computer adequately to work, so I sold my business and limited my clients. I also downsized my home of twenty-seven years to two condos. One is where I work, the other is where I live. I had to get rid of my car and quit driving. I got a disabled parking pass and an ID card instead of a driver’s license.”
Sherwood’s failing eyesight impacted his quality of life in other ways as well.
“I couldn’t go to events like Rays or Bucs games,” he relates. “And I couldn’t go to my grandsons’ high school football games to watch them play because I couldn’t see what was happening on the field. At church, I couldn’t see the screen where they project the videos and words of the songs, and I couldn’t see the pastor or the choir.”
When Sherwood was declared legally blind, a representative from the Florida Division of Blind Services and a low-vision occupational therapist visited him. They taught him to use assistive technology and modify his tasks to live better with his poor eyesight.
“The occupational therapist shared ideas that made it easier for me to work, including using a larger keyboard and a video magnifier for my computer,” he describes. “Other tips included using bigger lights around my desk and a handheld magnifier.
“The therapist also referred me to Lighthouse of Pinellas, an organization for the blind and visually impaired, where I learned how to use an assistive cane. They provided all the magnifying products I needed through Bob Schrepfer. He brought the products to my house, so I could try them out.”
Bob Schrepfer is president of The Magnification Company in St. Petersburg. The Magnification Company has provided magnifying assessments, training and lectures to people with vision issues for more than 30 years. The company offers sales and services throughout Florida.
“Legal blindness is not the same as total blindness,” informs Bob. “People with legal blindness still have some remaining vision, but they’ve lost their visual independence to drive, recognize faces, watch TV, read print or do all of the things that those with good sight can still do.”

Wearable Magnifier

“Thirteen months ago, IrisVision partnered with Samsung and released a unique product for people with low vision called IrisVision. This technology magnifies distant, intermediate and near vision. It’s totally hands-free and can increase or decrease magnification anywhere from one to twenty-four times with a seventy-degree field of view, which is unheard of for telescopic devices.”
IrisVision is in a brand-new category of magnifiers known as a wearable electronic magnifier.
 “IrisVision opened up a whole new world of vision for me.” – SherwoodPrevious to its introduction, the most common devices that provided enough magnification to help people with low vision for distance tasks were monocular telescopes and/or binoculars.
“Those devices have significant drawbacks,” comments Bob. “Low vision monocular telescopes will go up to about ten times magnification and are typically used for spot reading, while binoculars can only be held up to the eyes for a very limited time. In addition, the field of view with these devices is very limited and they only provide one specific power. IrisVision overcomes all of these obstacles.”
According to Bob, before IrisVision was released, its technology, to a lesser degree, was and still is available in desktop electronic magnifiers [CCTVs] that plug into the wall. These models are most often used for reading and writing tasks only. There’s also portable, handheld electronic magnifiers, but they are limited in their magnification range and screen size, plus they have to be held, which is tiresome.
“IrisVision looks like a wearable headset or goggles that can be used with or without prescription glasses,” notes Bob. “With a headset on, people’s hands are free, so they can do all of their daily tasks like they’re wearing a glorified pair of glasses. The IrisVision, however, provides wearers enhanced contrast and an unlimited amount of magnification, which is why most visually impaired individuals can see more detail more clearly with it on.”
The IrisVision technology returns people to the visual world, and makes them visually independent. With the IrisVision on, people can see across a room, recognize facial expressions, read text and access digital media. IrisVision uses a readily available but highly sophisticated virtual reality platform, which solves visual problems as well as keeps them cost-efficient.
“One of the other attributes of IrisVision is that it has its own internal battery,” discloses Bob. “When it’s fully charged, it lasts for about three and a half hours of continuous use. If people need more, we provide a battery adapter that goes into a port underneath the unit. That will keep it going for as much as eight hours of continuous use.
“This allows people to go to events. We’ve had people go to Walt Disney World’s® Epcot Theme Park so they could view the surroundings and the flowers. People use it to go places they haven’t been to in years.”

New World of Vision

“I looked at many products before my low-vision doctor told me about IrisVision,” states Sherwood. “The other products just weren’t going to work for me. I contacted Bob about IrisVision. He brought me an IrisVision headset, and it was just amazing.”
Going to events again was just one of the delights Sherwood experienced from the IrisVision headset he got from The Magnification Company. He found that while wearing the IrisVision unit, he could see the television much better, and work at his computer and read with less difficulty. The hands-free unit also makes him more independent.
“It’s amazing how the IrisVision helped me,” enthuses Sherwood. “I have reasonably normal vision with it. I can go to the games and see the action on the field when my grandsons play football. I can see pictures of my grandkids. I couldn’t do that before.
“Now, I can see everything in church plain as day. At my Rotary Club meetings, we have speakers, and many times, they have visual presentations. Without IrisVision, I can’t see them, but with it, I can see fine. When I’m looking for something detailed on my desk, like client files, I put the IrisVision on because I can see so much better with it.”
Sherwood is amazed by his vision with the help of IrisVision. He shares his success story with friends who come over and visit.
“IrisVision opened up a whole new world of vision for me,” he offers. “My vision is like three-dimensional compared to the way it was before. I can see colors really well, and the IrisVision brings a lot of light into the picture.
“I absolutely recommend IrisVision and have already. I took mine to a ninety-one-year-old friend to let him try it. He said, Oh, my gosh. This is the best thing I’ve seen yet. And I replied, It is for me, too.
“I had to find something that works because I wasn’t going to stop doing what I was doing. Bob and The Magnification Company really came through for me.”

 

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    • The Magnification Company

      Envision a bigger, brighter world The Magnification Company brings you the latest & most effective magnifying devices and low-vision services to help you achieve & maintain your visual independence. ... Read More

    • Bob Schrepfer

      Bob Schrepfer, owner and president of The Magnification Company has dedicated more than 30 years to helping those with low vision regain their independence with high-powered magnifying devices. He also offers entertaining and informati... Read More