Visual impairments should not stop people from pursuing hobbies that they may have previously enjoyed or have continuously done. Unfortunately, not all products that they use have features that may be helpful to them. Photography is a very visual medium of course but is not always that friendly to those who may be suffering from some form of visual impairment. So for a company to go out of their usual way and create something that people can use regardless of their visual status is always welcome.
Designer: Sony and Retissa
Sony has teamed up with Retissa, a company that has designed technology to aid people with low vision, to come up with a camera kit specifically for those who have visual impairments. The Sony DSC-HX99 RNV is made up of the HX99 compact camera and something called a QD Laser Retissa Neoviewer. The latter is a viewfinder that is able to project a digital image directly onto the retina of the user through laser retinal projection. A “crystal-clear image” is projected through a low-power, full-color laser beam.
In other words, the user’s retina becomes the screen so even if you have low vision, you’ll be able to see things clearly through the lens even if you don’t have any corrective lens or eyewear. You also don’t have to look at it through an LCD display or a virtual screen to be able to see the image you’re taking a picture of since this technology is able to deliver light directly to the eyes. The camera itself is Sony’s Cyber-shot travel zoom camera with a 24-720mm equivalent 30x zoom lens paired with an 18.2-megapixel 1/2.3-inch image sensor. It is able to record videos in 4K/30p, and also has Eye AF with fast autofocus feature.
This technology that they are using for cameras for the first time will be pretty useful for those with low vision who would still like to pursue photography. Sony is planning to collaborate with schools for the blind in the U.S and Japan and they are even offering the kit for just $600, taking on some of the costs.