OrCam: New Glasses and Apps for Those Who See Poorly


OrCam is glasses that use artificial intelligence to improve the lives of those who see little or nothing. It looks like a normal pair of glasses but on the temple there is a small camera capable of recognizing faces and written texts which are translated into words audible only to the wearer’s ear. It allows those who see little or nothing to have a better perception of the environment in which they find themselves and also allows them to read written texts which are transformed into words in real time. We have this technology at the our Maculopathy Center in Milan and Catania and we offer those interested the opportunity to try OrCam to understand how and when it can improve their lives. Today there is as much talk about OrCam as about Annalisa Minetti’s glasses following a recent interview in which she enthusiastically talks about how these glasses have changed her life. Unfortunately this technology today still has a high cost, from 3500 to 4500 euros.  Another glasses that work in a similar way but have a lower cost are the Envision Glasses . These are glasses built on the old Google Glasses platform to which, however, an enhanced camera and artificial intelligence software have been added for the recognition of faces, environments and written texts. They work like OrCam, that is, they translate what surrounds us into words. There are other possibilities for those who cannot afford OrCam or Envision Glasses: numerous apps available for Apple iPhone and iPad or for Android use cell phone cameras to transform everything that is framed into words, such as a written text or a face. Among the apps we recommend:

  • Brighter and Bigger (Android and iOS, Free) Allows you to enlarge and make text clearer so that those who have difficulty reading can find it easier – it turns your mobile phone into a video magnifier.
  • Seeing AI (iOS, Free)
    This app tells about the world around you. Simply point your phone or iPad camera at something and the Seeing AI app will tell you what it is. The app can recognize money, tell you colors, and even read text written on a computer or by hand.

If you want to learn more and keep up to date, we recommend following us on our social channels or visiting the dedicated page of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (American Ophthalmologist Society). If you want to try OrCam, contact our center in Milan or Catania on 02 36523300.