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Orcam Talking Glasses for Blind and VIP Personages

Orcam Talking Glasses for Blind and VIP Personages

I have mentioned the Orcam talking glasses a few times on this blog. Well the time has come for me to bid adieu to mine. Although their ability to read texts aloud for me is very useful, I think my first priority must be finding my workshop and lecture sessions, so I've decided to use the money to buy a GPS device designed with the blind in mind.

I'm not sure what order I've got the photographs in but I know one is of the glasses with arms extended and the control unit (which clips to a belt or pocket); one is of my hand holding the frames so you can (if you have sight or sighted assistance) see the camera on the right hand frame arm; one is one of the sides of the control unit (one side has buttons for volume up and down and power on/off/sleep, and the other has the main trigger button (that tells the camera to take a photo and read the text aloud), plus a connection area at the top, covered by a rubber seal that pulls back, where the charger connection attaches).

I have listed this as an eBay auction, which I won't post the link to because it'll have ended in 5 days. On eBay they have a start price of £1,100 but, if you buy it from me directly I will charge the lower price of £1,000 since eBay takes a 10 percent whack from the purchase price. I will post Royal Mail tracked and insured delivery.

photo 1 of 4 showing the Orcam glasses

In my 18 months with my pair I have used them to read street signs, books, restaurant menus and coffee shop price boards and, most frequently, food cooking instructions on ready meal packaging — not to mention telling me which meal is the fish pie and which is the lassagne!

photo 2 of 4 showing the Orcam glasses

Hello Prety

The glasses also can spot people. They can tell if there are one or two people standing or sitting in front of you, in which case they will say, “One person is in front of you.” If you wish to use a photo of a single person as an identified face, you can name that face and any time the glasses see that person they will say whatever you named that person, such as, “Mum,” or, “Dennis the Menace (I have a mother but no friend called Dennis so that's just a hypothetical identity!).”

photo 3 of 4 showing the Orcam glasses

Orcam MyEye 1.0 version 8

When I bought my pair they were version 7, but I was entitled to an upgrade to version 8 in June 2017. In version 8 there are three voices to choose from — Brian, Amy and Geraint ... being an honorary Welshman I use the Geraint voice and it is fantastic! Another addition in version 8 is the ability to read barcodes and identify products in its database — most of the products I use aren't in its database so I stick to using the text on the packaging to identify items, but it is a promising system. The glasses can also identify bank notes ... these are the UK version so I don't know if they identify dollar bills like the American version will, but in the UK I have used them to distinguish a £5 from a £10 or a £20 ... being a poet I've never owned notes of greater value than that so I cannot testify whether they know about higher values ;)

Here is a link to an mp3 of the glasses reading the first two thirds of my poem Glad Rags. I'll post the poem in full below so you can read the ending and the punchline ... the glasses stumble with the two French lines because the UK version doesn't apparently have French pleasantries programmed into its database. What I absolutely love is the Welsh voice, which delivers the poem with the perfect amount of sardonic humour!

Glad Rags

Oh yes,
these Versace trousers are darling!
Can the legs come up an inch

the waist out two?
Is that Dries Van Noten?
That embroidered v-neck is to die for!
Camel hair, really?
Fantastic with a capital F!
What have you got in socks?
I read in the weekend magazine
about cashmere socks so delicate

they can't be washed;

will last 16 wears and then they're done ...
do you have a pair?
What time is it?
I really must pick up a Rolex if you've got a cheapish one -
a couple of grand? Perfecto!
I think c'est tout
merci beaucoup!
Do I have a loyalty card?
I have a Tesco Clubcard!

I was hoping to borrow these on my library card;
no I don't have money,
I just came in for a moment out of the rain.
(Glad Rags by Giles L. Turnbull)

For that recording I was wearing the glasses and looking at the page in my poetry pamphlet, Dressing Up. You'll hear the beep as I press the trigger button on the control unit and then the text that has been photographed is spoken aloud. You can find copies of the pamphlet in the Cinnamon Press shop on that link and, should anybody desire to purchase these glasses from me directly, I'll throw in a copy of the pamphlet, if desired, for free! :)

The final photo is of me leaving the Specsavers store, wearing the glasses, on the day I bought them.

photo 4 of 4 showing me wearing the Orcam glasses as I depart Specsavers in November 2016

The Sales Desk

Feel free to contact me through the contact page on this website or by email at ... should anybody be interested in these and wish them sending outside of the UK then I will be happy to calculate the shipping / insurance cost :)

#Orcam #Poetry #DressingUp #CinnamonPress

Published inblindnesseducationPoetrytechnology


  1. Nell Nelson Nell Nelson

    Ah Giles, I wish so MUCH you could have kept the glasses. I would have contributed willingly towards crowd-funding them — as well as towards your GPS. I think you’re a ground-breaker in reporting on these things: the world really needs you to do it.

    Some people do really do this, you know — namely crowdfund unusual activity, enlist sponsors. And sometimes manufacturers will also sponsor you, with free or subsidised equipment, if you’re reporting publicly on its use.

    Make sure you find out what kind of funds or assistance you may be entitled to in the university under the ‘additional support needs’ heading. Sometimes it’s more than you think.

    Your photos of the glasses etc in this blog entry have come out briliantly, but the one of you standing outside Spec-savers is actually you lying sideways outside Spec-savers. It’s needs orienting 45 degrees to the right to put you on your feet.

    But all the things you are doing are very exciting. Very best of luck!

  2. Giles Giles

    thanks, Nell! I think I’m exploiting the funding available as much as is available! 🙂 xx

  3. I understand why you are making the change, especially if you have other means of getting the same information. I think it’s a wonderful price for someone who really needs them, and can’t afford them brand new. I know yours will have been taken care of beautifully. Best of luck with the new GPS system! I’ll e-mail soon.

    P. S. You need a follow by e-mail button on here!

  4. Giles Giles

    Hi Susan, if you look up towards the top of the page, there is a link for bllog, and one for contact and, between them, is nestled one to follow 🙂 xx

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