Just over a month ago, we brought you the amazing story of Les Baugh, a Colorado man that spent 40 years as a shoulder-level double amputee as a result of an electrical accident. Through the help of two Modular Prosthetic Limbs, Baugh was able to perform tasks that many of us take for granted like moving his “bionic” arms and fingers, and lifting/grasping objects. That story hit me right in the gut, and we have another heart-warming story for you today — this one involves former U.S. Air Force Veteran Mark Cornell, who has been legally blind for the past 20 years.
Cornell, who serves as the President of the U.S. Blinded Veterans Association, lost his vision two decades ago due to Lyme’s disease. However, incredible advances in technology are helping Cornell to see again, and he couldn’t be more thrilled.
Cornell’s sudden return to a world where he can see more clearly was made possible thanks to an eSight camera system. eSight consists of a headset which is mounted to a carrier frame. The headset houses an HD camera, dual OLED screens (one for each eye), and the ability to display a high resolution, real-time feed to the wearer. A separate processing unit houses the brains behind eSight, a battery pack, and a physical control unit that allows the wearer to adjust the real-time feed to “enhance, magnify, and adjust the image to ensure their eyes can best interpret their world.”
When strapping on eSight for the first time, Cornell was reduced to tears as the visible world that he was previously robbed of came in much clearer focus to his eyes. Cornell even managed to throw in an epic dad joke when he was asked what it was like to see with the device. His response was a deadpan “It’s eye-opening,” which followed by more tears of joy.
eSight won’t work for people that have total vision loss; it will only works in cases where people have some low level of vision (these individuals often only see blurry, undefined shapes).
As you would expect, eSight doesn’t come cheap; each headset costs a whopping $15,000. However, eSight sponsors fundraisers to ensure that legally blind veterans and other individuals can have access to the life changing technology with minimal out of pocket costs.