We’re here at The CIL’s Alameda office to demo a pair of CCTV devices for people with low vision. This is Power On. As we enter 2018, our lives are becoming more and more digital. For people with low vision, this is a welcome trend, thanks to screen readers, magnification, and narration assistance. However, we still encounter a lot of printed information in our mail, books, or paperwork. We’re comparing two devices today that are designed to assist people with low vision in dealing with the challenges of reading the fine print. We’re here at The CIL’s Alameda office with a couple of desktop video magnifiers which are sometimes called CCTVs, or closed-circuit televisions. These are generally comprised of a tray to hold a document or photo, then a camera and monitor to magnify and display it. On the left, we have the Topaz by Freedom Scientific. On the right, we have Prodigi by Humanware. Let’s start with the Topaz. The Topaz Desktop Video Magnifier is a very simple, practical design from Freedom Scientific, an assistive tech giant with a variety of low vision products. The Topaz is an incredibly easy device to use. You just flip on the power switch right here, and you’re ready to go. So, you just take the document that’s going to be read, right onto the base tray. The great part about this is that it’s a very movable base tray. You slide it into place, and then, lock it into place if you need to write something. The Topaz has three adjustment knobs as you can see. We’ll start with the yellow button, or the yellow knob, which is brightness. You can make it as bright or as dark as you need. The blue knob adjusts the color settings. You can go black on white, white on black, yellow on blue, yellow on black, or normal color settings. The middle knob is to adjust magnification. That’s 77 times zoom. And that’s pretty much it. It’s simplicity is its greatest asset, making the Topaz ideal for children with visual impairments who are learning to read, or who just want some help seeing their LEGOs. However, for a basic model, the price tag doesn’t necessarily reflect its simplicity. The Topaz runs around $2500, depending on the size of the monitor. And for the same price, there are many other smaller and more technically advanced pieces out there. One of which is the Prodigi by Humanware, another large AT company, with a focus on products for users with low vision. The Prodigi comes with its own software, available in 17 lanugages, which already puts the Prodigi behind the Topaz in ease-of-use. But let’s see what this software can do. We’ll power it on here, and already you notice one thing that’s different about this device, a voice. We’ll get into that in a second. But for now, let’s just see how well it does with simple magnification. With just the pinch of a touchpad, just like a smartphone, the Prodigi zooms in on the document. There’s no need to shuffle the tray around, as the Prodigi’s tray is fixed. So, navigating around the document is also done with the swipe of a finger, again, similar to a smartphone. Image quality is comparable to a Topaz, if not worse, but since these are made for people with low vision, a high-resolution image really isn’t that paramount here. Besides basic magnification, the Prodigi has a few more features to demonstrate. First, there are about 20 different color contrast settings, opposed to the Topaz’s five. The Prodigi can also take a photo of the document, then using it’s Optical Character Recognition capabilities, or OCR for short, it digitalizes the text from the paper below. The Prodigi can then read the document back to you, line-by-line. – [Prodigi] The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. End of document. So, if you’re someone who just needs a device that can magnify documents, and do it in a very simple, intuitive way. The Topaz from Freedom Scientific may be a good choice. Especially in a classroom setting with younger children, or for older individuals who aren’t familiar with technology in general. The Prodigi from Humanware is a little more complex, but with that comes a much wider variety of options and features. The touchpad is very intuitive, and that’s great for anyone familiar with laptops or smartphones. And the OCR feature is great for people who will need to read a lot of print in their home or office, namely students and business professionals. If you’re someone with low vision, and you want to know more about these products, you may want to explore ways to get these products covered by insurance, or state rehabilitation programs in order to alleviate the full $2500 price tag for these useful, but expensive technologies. For The CIL, I’m Rafael Siegel. We’ll see you next time on Power On.