Introduction: We compared the print-to-speech properties and human performance characteristics of two artificial intelligence vision aids, Orcam MyEye 1 (a portable device) and Seeing AI (an iPhone and iPad application). Methods: There were seven participants with visual impairments who had no experience with the two reading aids. Four participants had no light perception. Two individuals with measurable acuity and one with light perception were tested while blindfolded. We also tested performance with text of varying appearance in varying viewing conditions. To evaluate human performance, we asked the participants to use the devices to attempt 12 reading tasks similar to activities of daily living. We assessed the ranges of text attributes for which reading was possible, such as print size, contrast, and light level. We also assessed if individuals could complete tasks with the devices and measured accuracy and completion time. Participants also completed a survey concerning the two aids. Results: Both aids achieved greater than 95% accuracy in text recognition for flat, plain word documents and ranged from 13 to 57% accuracy for formatted text on curved surfaces. Both aids could read print sizes as small as 0.8M (20/40 Snellen equivalent, 40 cm viewing distance). Individuals successfully completed 71% and 55% (p =.114) of tasks while using Orcam MyEye 1 and Seeing AI, respectively. There was no significant difference in time to completion of tasks (p =.775). Individuals believed both aids would be helpful for daily activities. Discussion: Orcam MyEye 1 and Seeing AI had similar text-reading capability and usability. Both aids were useful to users with severe visual impairments in performing reading tasks. Implications for Practitioners: Selection of a reading device or aid should be based on individual preferences and prior familiarity with the platform, since we found no clear superiority of one solution over the other.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: National Institutes of Health Grant EY002934 and the Helen Keller Foundation. The sponsor or funding organization had no role in the design or conduct of this research.
© American Foundation for the Blind 2021.