Prism System Improves Vision of the Legally Blind

University Communications,
Demo of the eSight system
TLA licensing manager for the College of Optical Sciences Kennedy Nyairo, left, gets a demo of the eSight system from inventor Hong Hua. / Paul Tumarkin, Tech Launch Arizona photo

A new prism system devised by a University of Arizona professor captures images with a small camera and projects them onto tiny screens in front of each eye to help low vision users see their surroundings. It will let users zoom, focus and adjust contrast and colors. 

The system enhances images along the way, delivering better field of view. The devices will offer improved size and weight over other models at a lower cost, according to Tech Launch Arizona, a UA division that seeks to patent and license UA products.

The innovation — licensed to eSight, a company based in Canada, and now part of its eSight 3 products — emerged from research by Hong Hua, a professor at the UA’s James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences. Hua worked with graduate student Jason Kuhn.

According to TLA, the key to the invention is a wedge-shaped prism eyepiece designed with free-form surfaces that provide high resolution and a large exit pupil, producing image quality that has not been previously achieved.