eSight eyewear – Testimonial – CNIB

eSight eyewear – Testimonial – CNIB


Ana: We’re going to have a real-life testimonial here from, from Hugh. As I mentioned, he’s been an eSight user for, how long now, Hugh? Hugh: About twenty months. Ana: Twenty months now. It’s already twenty months? Wow. Hugh: Yeah. Ana: Um, so, just to give you a little introduction, Hugh has Stargardt’s. And, uh, he developed it in your forties if I’m not mistaken, right? Hugh: Twenties. Ana: Twenties. In your twenties, ok. Hugh: About ’85, ’86. Ana: So you’ve had it for a while, then. Hugh: Yep. Ana: [Laughs]. Um, and like I said he was a long time employee at Bell and he was first introduced to it as part of the study. And so, I’ll introduce Hugh. If you want to stand up and kind of talk about your story and how eSight’s made an impact for you. Hugh: Sure. So, uh, as Ana said, I met eSight about twenty months ago, twenty-four months ago, roughly speaking. I have Stargardt’s. Uh, before I retired I worked at Bell as an IT… In the IT department as an Associate Director, working in IT. So, I had a scope, a dome, my laptop with zoom techs on it. [Inaudible]. Um, what I found when I met eSight, um, at the CNIB where I first met the team and did a little demo with them and then seeing you at your office. Is that it’s a device that allows me to have… I go from about 22/50 to roughly 20/30 give or take, you know, the day and what you’re doing. Uh, it gives me that when I want it. So, to me that’s a very, very cool thing that I don’t have to have multiple devices with me. So I find that it’s good. And my colleagues used to test me ’cause I used to have to sit at the front… Here, you know, and memorize what you’re talking about and make my notes if I’m doing a presentation, basically memorize the presentation. So, I was sitting at the back one day, one of my colleagues was writing different numbers and he zoomed in and I’m like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’, he says, ‘Oh, you can see with that from back there’. Right? It was a test. So, it’s true, it, it gives you the functionality, uh, from the visual perspective. Um, Ana kind of talked a little bit about it in the presentation that the key component to this, from my perspective, is the frame and, and the head strap. It’s designed to put the weight more on your forehead than on your nose. So, once you get used to using it, uh, it’s six ounces, that’s what this weighs. It connects together magnetically, which is cool. Snaps in, and goes on your head. Ana: And you can actually prescribe a person’s prescription in the regular pearl lenses, which is a first for these kind of devices. Hugh: Yeah. My, my prescription’s here. It crisped up a little bit. We find with some clients that don’t have prescription we put plainer lenses in. We’ve also… And we’re learning. A company… Like, that’s what attracted me to the company to be honest. When I first met them, during the study, they didn’t have a, a manual focus. They had just strictly autofocus. So when I started playing with it… And, and, Jeff in London, he was one of our engineers. When he [inaudible], because he does a lot of volunteer work. It would, he tried to continue to autofocus and it would go out of focus. So he talked to the company. We called him up, said, ‘Hey, can we do manual focus?’, about two weeks, they came back. Now the product has three focus modes. It has auto, it has manual for close, for, for near and manual for far. And you can tweak them. The user can tweak them on the interface just to tweak the focus a little bit better as they like it. Um… So that, that’s neat because when you’re reading your iPhone with the autofocus, it would go past the auto phone, the autofocus sits here and it would go out of focus. Now, what I do is take the iPhone, use the autofocus to get it where I like, with the zoom, and then lock it in. Same with distance if you’re riding in a car, you can look around, look outside and you can set the manual auto… Distance focus for five or six car lengths out and then as things come into your view, they’re already set from a focus perspective and you can play with the zoom. It allows me to do multiple tasks, um… at home, uh, and when you go out, you know? It’s a nice tool, like Ana said, it’s a tool. So you can, you know, put in the bag, put it in here, take it with you, take it out of the bag, put it on your head, look at a menu, put it away if you don’t want to eat it with it on. Uh, when you’re you’re at the mall you can take it out, put it on, do you grocery shopping, etcetera. You can look at you’re… Anything you’re looking at, from, from a close perspective, or read overhead signs. Ana: What has been the feedback of people seeing you, uh, at the mall with this? I haven’t asked you that. Hugh: Uh, various. It’s, it’s pretty interesting. You get… A lot of people are just curious, right? And, uh, want to know what it is. Um, and when you talk to them about being digital eyewear for people low vision, uh, you know, they’re kind of shocked, to say, ‘Wow, that’s quite a neat device and how does it work?’ and you explain that. I haven’t had really negative feedback to be perfectly honest. I mean, I’ve had some, uh, [Inaudible], my colleague, we’re at, um… in Florida at the AFB conference and we walked into a restaurant, and, a receptionist was like…. Ana: You were both wearing it? [Laughs]. Hugh: Yeah we were both wearing it. We walked in and she’s like, ‘What’s that?’. It was kind of like, ‘It’s ok, it’s electronic eyewear’. You wear it through the airport, the security guy is kind of like, ‘Is that ok?’, you take it off and it goes through the machine and everything. So, yeah various feedback. Um… We have clients using it at multiple events, um… Going to hockey games, football games, uh, plays. So we’ve introduced some software changes. Um, just testing them now so we’ve got the ability for a user to do manual exposure. So if you’re at a play with the lighting continually changes, the eyewear is continually trying to adjust it with the algorithms. And what we’ve done is, we’ve allowed the user to lock that in. To say hey, you know, if you want to average that out yourself, to give you a little bit… Not so much of a light change in all the time, you can set that up. If somebody has, um, we had one client who we actually tinted the lens 90 per cent because they were so receptive to the light. So when Neil came in, uh, he couldn’t demo it because of the light. And we took the lens and we, we actually tinted it 90 per cent. And now he’s using it and he’s in Calgary. Um, the other thing I like about it is, uh, the demo process. Although it takes an hour to an hour and half. As somebody coming in to look at low vision products in the past it’s been kind of like, here you go, you trial it and away you go. It, they really took the time to make sure, A, I got, I understood what it does for you. And that’s critical, I think, toward, to the clients. They can, they understand the benefits they get. And then, so they do a baseline, like you said, without eSight. Just my glasses, and then they do it with eSight to show you the difference. And then, it’s basically… And we’ve had the, actually we’ve had some customers or clients that came in and it just didn’t work for them, unfortunately. And, and, they were still interested in buying it and, and the company recommended that they didn’t. Which I think, you know, adds value to the company, adds value to what they bring to the table.

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