Israeli company ICI Vision has developed digital eyewear with the potential to give millions of legally blind people the ability to see, reports ISRAEL21c's Leoni Jesner.

The company’s Orama high-tech glasses are the work of Chaim Chayet, an Israeli optic physicist who was originally creating augmented-reality goggles for motorcyclists.

Working with a friend with damaged vision from a scar on his eye, Chayet realized the technology would have greater impact as a device for vision-impaired people. Partnering with two colleagues and top Israeli eye doctors as advisors, he launched ICI Vision in 2014.

“We approached the technology from the perspective of helping the millions of people with vision problems enjoy a new lease on life and maintain their independence,” CEO Tal Lotan told ISRAEL21c.

Orama’s “enhanced vision engine” combines artificial intelligence, eye-tracking software, computer vision and other software and hardware, including a built-in 3D camera, to fill in the gaps from loss of vision and optimize the image in front of the user’s eyes.

The eyewear is personalized to each user through eye mapping, a procedure that establishes the location of healthy retinal cells.

“Once the extent of a patient’s retinal damage has been established, we can build a set of glasses which projects images onto the healthy part of the eye to enhance their central vision,” explains Lotan. “No one else is doing exactly what we do.”

There’s an adjustment period as Orama users learn to interpret what they’re seeing, Jesner writes.

“During initial trials, patients were able to recognize faces of loved ones and see more clearly in their central vision. We have a lot of people interested in trialing the product as they have put their hope in our technology as a solution to their loss of vision,” said Lotan.