The National Federation of the Blind and OrCam Technologies Announce Cooperative Agreement
NFB-OrCam Collaboration Seeks to Enhance Independence for Blind and Low Vision Community through Innovative Assistive Technology
Las Vegas, Nevada (July 7, 2019) – The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, and OrCam Technologies, the world’s most advanced wearable AI-driven artificial vision innovator for people who are blind or losing vision, jointly announced a cooperative agreement at the NFB's annual National Convention that will help empower blind and low vision Americans to achieve increased independence.
The cooperation between the NFB and OrCam will raise awareness of OrCam's assistive technology among NFB members in the United States to support uses in education, employment and quality of life for Blind and Low-Vision Americans. In addition, NFB representatives will provide feedback to support future development of OrCam device features that will further help people who are blind inside and outside of their homes, workplaces, or studies. OrCam devices will be available for sale to NFB members with a special NFB discount.
"The OrCam Team is honored and proud to join forces with the NFB – the oldest and largest nationwide organization dedicated to shaping the future of blind Americans – in this important cooperative agreement," said Mr. Ziv Aviram, OrCam Co-founder, President and CEO. "Working together will enable us to bolster independence and accessibility for the blind and low vision community through transformative, wearable artificial vision technology. Whether it's using an OrCam device to read a morning newspaper or email, recognize the approach of a loved one or colleague, or choose a favorite item in the supermarket – as well as collaborating on the development of new, empowering device features – our organizations' joint mission is to improve quality of life."
Wireless, lightweight and compacted into the size of a finger, the pioneering technology of the AI-driven OrCam MyEye 2 artificial vision device discreetly reads printed and digital text aloud – from any surface – in real time. Newspapers, books, computer and smartphone screens, restaurant menus, labels on supermarket products and street signs become immediately accessible. Additional features of OrCam MyEye 2 include instant face recognition and identification of consumer products, colors and money notes.
Magnetically mounted on the wearer’s eyeglasses frame and weighing only 22.5 grams, OrCam MyEye 2 has been meticulously designed by leading minds in the Computer Vision and Machine Learning fields to be intuitive and easy to use for the blind and people with vision loss. The device is the only wearable artificial vision technology that is activated by an intuitive pointing gesture or simply by following the wearer's gaze – allowing for hands-free use – without the need of a smartphone or Wi-Fi, resulting in real time audio communication while ensuring data privacy.
Globally, OrCam MyEye is available in 25 languages and in 48 countries.
“The National Federation of the Blind is committed to advancing technology that can enhance the independence of blind people by providing feedback that incorporates the lived experience and expertise of the blind,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind.” Our collaboration with OrCam is an example of this ongoing work, and we look forward to discovering what our organizations can do together.”
The latest available figures as of 2016 indicate that 7.68 million Americans have a visual disability, with over 70% of working age adults reporting significant vision loss not employed full-time.
The NFB and OrCam will continue to take the lead to enable people who are blind or who have low vision to have access to the most effective tools to help them lead more fulfilling lives.