Hand held electronic magnification
Hand held electronic magnification provides distortion-free viewing as well as the ability to change background and foreground colours for glare reduction. They are useful for people who have progressed from hand held optical devices, for identifying objects and reading. Hand held electronic magnifiers require a medium amount of training with little follow up support. Products available are the Compact+, Compact Mini and Looky, which all operate with standard or rechargeable batteries. Pricing ranges from approximately $500 to $1,100.
The Farview Hand Held Electronic Distance magnifier greatly assists mobility by capturing and magnifying distant images. This small rectangular unit is also used in education for capturing information on whiteboards. Of value is the ability to scan an entire page then scroll around the page once the image is captured.
Hand held electronic distance magnifiers
Students and active seniors find that hand held electronic distance magnifiers, which capture and magnify distant images, greatly assist mobility. They can be used to capture information on whiteboards and to scan whole pages of information then scroll around the page once the information is captured.
Hand held electronic distance magnifiers cost around $4,000.
Training is important and a low level of support will be required. The unit is powered by rechargeable batteries.
Computer connectable – optical camera
The ClearNote and ClearNote Plus are optical cameras on a flexible arm that connect to the computer. They offer high flexibility for near and distance viewing and very high magnification levels. Images can be captured and stored on the PC then magnified and enhanced for display on the computer screen. These products are useful for students and seniors with a PC, for study, craft and distance viewing.
The ClearNote and ClearNote Plus require batteries and a USB. Pricing is around $4,000 to $5,000 and, while training is required support requirements after training are low.
Computer connectable - digital cameras
Computer connectable - digital cameras enable text to be captured quickly, and converted to large print and speech on a PC. Words are highlighted as they are spoken. Speech files can also be saved and used on MP3 type devices. Currently available are the Pearl, Zoom-Ex and Zoom-Twix computer connectable digital cameras, which are useful for students and seniors with a PC.
Pricing ranges widely from $2,000 - $5,000 for these units, which run on mains power and require a USB. A high degree of training is required with moderate ongoing support.
Desktop electronic magnifiers
Desktop electronic magnifiers are by far the most commonly used aid for reading, writing, and handicrafts. The source material is simply inserted onto a flat bed scanner and the image projects onto the screen. There are various options available for screen sizes, reading modes, non-reflective screens and high definition. ClearView and ViVA are two desktop electronic magnifers, which greatly enhance independent living skills. They are suitable for anyone with low vision, run on mains power and require minimal training. Prices range from $3,000 to $6,000.
The desktop electronic magnifier PC offers the same basic design and functionality as regular desktop electronic magnifiers. However it has the additional flexibility of connecting to a PC. Users can choose to use the magnifier’s screen, the PC screen, or both. Split screen options facilitate study and employment opportunities.
The ClearView PC (include image) is suitable for anyone with low vision, for home use, study or in the office. It requires mains power, needs little training and is priced at around $4,000.
Magnification Software (include image) for PC by ZoomText, MAGic, and iZoom provide useful access to computing and Internet for all low vision users. This software requires a high level of training with moderate levels of ongoing support. Free software is available but some magnification software can cost up to $700.