News Releases

April 24, 2001

New Generation of Vision-Enhancing System Offers Independence to Individuals with Low Vision

ATLANTA - The second generation of a popular and seemingly amazing low vision device has recently come on the market, according to Emory Eye Center's Director of Low Vision, Dr. Ned Witkin.

Named the "Jordy" (v.2.0), the newest version offers several improvements over last year's debut model. "This is the most exciting advancement we've had in technology for the visually impaired in years," says Dr. Witkin.

The new Jordy has several notable improvements. "The new model is smaller and lighter, a full 30% lighter, weighing in at only 6 ounces. Also, now the patient can wear the Jordy like a pair of glasses-instead of viewing it through a closed-circuit television. That's especially important to the patient, as it offers an ease of use. The new image stabilization software allows the user to simply wear the device on their heads and read or view person and objects at high magnification," he says.

The Jordy, a product of Enhanced Vision Systems, magnifies 25 times for distance viewing and 50 times for close-up viewing. Portable and lightweight, the Jordy is self-focusing and can provide color or black-and-white imaging. The new device also has an image locator, where the viewer can locate objects in space that were previously hard to find because of the ultra-high magnification. The new Jordy can find an object, then zoom out to get a wide-angle view, such as locking in on a speaker and then zooming out to see the larger room.

The new Jordy will enable visually impaired persons to more easily have access to reading, sewing, paying their bills, playing cards or games, working at their computers and recognizing loved ones. The Jordy is not, however, designed for driving.

The Jordy's battery will last up to two hours on a charge. The new focus lock on this year's model also conserves that battery life. The cost of this year's new model is still $3,000, says Dr. Witkin.

John Balogh, a patient at the Emory Eye Center, has tested the new Jordy and compares it to the old model with a resounding "Wow!" He says the Jordy has "transformed my life by allowing me to do things I couldn't do before. This new generation takes the Jordy to a new level. I am looking forward to being able to read to read to my granchildren once again. I am looking forward to being able to read," he says.

Mr. Balogh has had optic neuritis in both eyes, causing permanent loss of his central vision. The cause of the optic neuritis is multiple sclerosis.

There currently is no treatment and no way to restore his vision loss. The Jordy is one of many devices available at Emory's Low Vision Clinic designed to help individuals with reduced vision that neither surgery, medical treatment nor the best standard optical remedies can correct. One of only a few clinical sites in the U.S. developing the most advanced vision-assisting devices available on the market, Emory's Low Vision Clinic has helped children with hereditary conditions, individuals who want to remain in the workplace, and older adults who want to maintain independent lives.

Media Contact: Joy H. Bell
jbell@emory.edu
404-778-3711

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