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Closed Circuit Video   Magnification Systems

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The Basic Concept - Then See Company Links Below

Closed circuit video magnification systems are capable of higher levels of magnification and can manipulate the brightness and contrast of the image. Video magnification has been reported in the literature for over four decades.

The concept of a CCTV is simple. A video camera is used in real time to capture the image of the reading material and display it on a monitor.  For example, the poor contrast of newspaper print can be enlarged 40X, but can simultaneously be converted to white letters on a black background. The CCTV evaluation should include testing with real world items including newspapers, telephone books, utility bills, an addressed envelope, a handwritten letter, a greeting card, magazines, a checkbook, photos, a can of food, a medicine bottle, the patientís fingernails, a tax form, an address book, a recipe, and jewelry.  Filling an insulin syringe or performing glucometry should be demonstrated for the insulin dependent diabetic. Preferences for image size, type of contrast, color and the ability to operate the system should be determined.  Motion problems from moving the image on the screen may be reduced with larger monitors that allow displaying more text at one time.


New innovations in CCTV technology are expanding their use and availability.  The Jordy system, introduced by Enhanced Vision Systems is a wearable full color CCTV system that includes a camera and two LCD screens mounted in a headset. It can operate on a battery or direct current. This system provides up to 27X magnification through the headset providing dramatic improvements in distance vision for many profoundly impaired patients. It can also be placed in a stand with a X-Y table and connected to a television monitor for functioning like a traditional CCTV. The Jordy has the potential to aid profoundly impaired patients. When worn on the head, the 27X maximum magnification far exceeds that of the typical bioptic or monocular telescope.  The Jordy may also be attached to a larger television monitor such as a 32-inch portable to provide much higher levels of magnification than most console CCTVs. 


Other innovations include the Flipperport by Enhanced Vision Systems and the PVA, which include tilting cameras that allow viewing across the room. The Personal Vision Assistant (PVA) employs a detachable mirror, which magnifies the face for shaving or applying makeup. Also, the cost barrier for CCTV technology has been broken through the introduction of small inexpensive handheld CCTVs that attach to any television.


The Original Articles on Video Magnification

 Potts AM, Volk D, West SW: A television reader as a subnormal reading aid. Am J Ophthalmol 47:580-581, 1959.


Genensky SM, Baran P, Moshin HL, et al. A closed circuit TV system for the visually handicapped, American Foundation for the Blind Research Bulletin 19:191, 1969.


Condensered.gif (846 bytes)PVA- The Doctor's CCTV - The Personal Vision Assistant was designed by low vision specialists to meet the needs of their macular degeneration patients. It is powerful, but one of the simplest CCTVs to use. It is available only from doctors specializing in low vision. 

Condensered.gif (846 bytes)Enhanced Vision  Enhanced Vision is a company dedicated to the development of effective technology for the visually impaired. 

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Ash Technologies - Portable CCTV Based Video  Products  
Ash Technologies was founded in 1994 by Alan Johnston, Seamus Gallagher and Hugh Maguire, all of whom have worked for many years in the low vision industry. Our aim is to provide affordable solutions for people with visual impairments to allow access to print.  
We design and manufacture all of our product range at our premises in Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Condensered.gif (846 bytes)Clarity Solutions Clarity Solutions is dedicated to developing solutions to help people with low vision retain their independence.  We feature products such as the CLARITYAF and CLASSMATE that give individuals the ability to read, write and enjoy hobbies.

Condensered.gif (846 bytes)OVAC Vision-Aide A manufacturer of inexpensive CCTV Electronic Magnifiers including handheld units.

Condensered.gif (846 bytes)Optelec US, Inc. Optelec, founded in 1985, has developed innovative products that have helped thousands of people with low vision read and write again....independently.

 Humanware Pulse Data  Pulsedata is now part of the Humanware Group. PulseData International is a world wide company committed to the design and manufacture of technology solutions that enable both visually impaired and blind people to lead more independent lives. Pulse Data's product range includes SmartView CCTV reading systems and PocketViewer portable low vision magnifiers. Other products include computer software programs and talking personal information systems to meet the needs of people who are blind.


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