Scientific Breakthroughs

Virtual Reality for the Blind Lets Man See Clearly for the First Time

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Virtual Reality for the Blind Lets Man See Clearly for the First Time
PHOTOGRAPH: TechStage/Flickr |

A legally blind man sees clearly for the first time through a simulation in the environment provided by the virtual reality for the blind. He describes that while using the VR headset, he can “physically feel” his eyes refocusing.

Legally Blind Sees Clearly

Jamie Soar suffers a hereditary eye condition called as retinitis pigmentosa which makes him legally blind. Moreover, he also has myopia, rendering him near-sighted, and diplopia, a condition that gives him double vision. At night or in dark places, Soar would need to use a cane to maneuver on his surroundings.

This has been the daily life of Soar, but his curiosity with VR did not stop him from traveling the “long journey” as soon as he knew there would be one in London. He admits he had long been interested about it since he thought “something strapped to my face” could possibly work since he had been used to living with nearsightedness.

Stepping Into Another Dimension

After putting in the HTC Vive VR headset loaded with a demo, Soar felt like literally stepping into another world; the world away from his visual impairments. For the first time, he was able to clearly see the vivid colors of the world that made him leap out of his seat.

Through the dual-screen projection of VRs, our eyes are tricked with a sense of depth making Soar reverse his visual disabilities while wearing the headset. The illusion of depth was made possible through the unique lenses close to our face making the simulation an immersing virtual reality for the blind.

Since then, Soar makes time into using the VR as much as he can by going to his friends’ house who have VR. He also encouraged others to try and see the “extra dimension existed” through virtual reality.

The revolutionary device is indeed more than just for movies or gaming. The virtual reality for the blind experienced by Soar is only one of the many possible issues that can be addressed with the technology.

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