Glasses from eSight help legally blind Colts fan see game for first time

Thursday January 5th, 2017

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Scott Reese is a longtime Indianapolis Colts fan, but he didn’t see the team win Super Bowl XLI or Peyton Manning claim the single-season touchdown record in 2004. That’s because Reese is legally blind.

But he was able to watch the action for the first time Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium thanks to a pair of eSight glasses. The Colts learned about Reese’s story and provided him with sidelines tickets and passes to bring game balls out to the referees and watch warmups for the team’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“It’s not the first time I’ve been to a Colts game, but it is the first time that I’m actually going to be able to see what the heck’s going on,” Reese told Fox 59.

At 2 years old, Reese was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia—a rare eye condition that causes optic nerves not to develop. But recently Reese was given a pair of eSight glasses, which look like thick goggles and have a high-speed camera that capture everything the wearer looks at. The live stream goes through a powerful computer, and the images are then sent back to the headset, which has two LED monitors built into the frames, so the wearer can see the transmitted image.

Users are able to control the image’s sharpness and color with a handheld control.

Reese told The Times of Northwest Indiana he used the electronic glasses to first watch a 2015 Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals playoff game (even though he is a White Sox fan).

“[My friend] Jeff asked me to call balls and strikes,” Reese wrote. “Keep in mind, at home, I have to sit as close to the television to see any of this. With the eSight glasses, I was able to not only see the game from a much farther distance, but I could even see the faces of the players and the game information that was on the top left side of the screen.”

He continued: “This means a great deal to me because my dream is to be a play-by-play announcer for a Major League Baseball team.”

Then he watched an ice hockey game and went outside and got to see the moon for the first time. He was also able to read an eye chart perfectly.

“As a result of my battle with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, I have faced many challenges in my personal and professional life,” Reese wrote. “Through all of these challenges, I have never given up hope that something would come along.”

Toronto-based eSight was founded when Conrad Lewis was trying to invent a device to help his sisters who both have Stargardt’s Disease, which causes retina degeneration. The glasses helped both Lewis’ sisters regain their vision.

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