Columbia Heights man ‘regains vision’ with technology

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Earl Harrison wearing the OrCam MyEye device. Mounted on a pair of glasses, OrCam allows those who are blind or in need of vision assistance to gain back their independence by reading, recognizing and identifying everyday needs and products. (Photo provided by OrCam)

Earl Harrison wearing the OrCam MyEye device. Mounted on a pair of glasses, OrCam allows those who are blind or in need of vision assistance to gain back their independence by reading, recognizing and identifying everyday needs and products. (Photo provided by OrCam)

Earl Harrison of Columbia Heights has always struggled with low vision. He suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a congenital eye disease that causes severe vision impairment due to the breakdown of cells in the retina. Later on, glaucoma was added into the mix.

“I’ve always been legally blind,” Harrison shared. “At my best, I could see something at 20 feet what a person with 2020 vision could see at 200 feet.”

Now, although completely blind, Harrison is able to envision a new future. President of Triumph Technologies, a Minnesota-based distributor that focuses on blindness and low vision adaptive technology, he is able to find success and independence with the help of an artificial intelligence device that his company distributes. The device, called OrCam MyEye, provides advanced artificial vision through a small, intuitive smart camera that can be mounted on the user’s glasses frame. Activated by a simple pointing gesture, OrCam is able to read text on any surface, recognize familiar faces and identify products.

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