The impact of COVID-19 on our lives is being felt worldwide these days. We hear from medical experts and people in government and the media about the “new normal”, and what it might mean for us in the future. As CNN reported recently, the new normal will be “anything but ordinary”.
The impact of eye disease can be equally life changing. When our visual independence is affected, seemingly normal daily tasks present new challenges. Fortunately, there are technology solutions that can help improve visual independence for people living with conditions such as macular degeneration or glaucoma.
There are some things we consider very important in the design of such solutions, as found in the portable video magnifier, Snow 12 from Zoomax.
Easy to use
The ability to learn a new device is a key indicator of ongoing use and success. Snow 12 features large buttons that are easy to find and intuitive to use. It can even speak to you. For added support there are free instructional videos online for self-paced learning – great during a time when most of us are staying at home.
A great image is one of the most important attributes for any low vision device. A high-resolution camera and full-HD display ensure that instructions for using personal protective equipment like masks and gloves display nice and clearly on the screen.
Snow 12 features an impressive 13-megapixel camera and a 12-inch, 1920p x 1080p high resolution full-HD display. The end result is an image that looks great even at higher levels of magnification.
With the closure of physical school buildings many school districts are turning to online virtual learning as a way to keep students engaged for the remainder of the school year. This presents new challenges for students and teachers alike, but especially those living with low vision who may not be able to access the curriculum online.
When school curriculum and other materials are available in accessible form (PDF, RTF, etc.) it is possible to copy those materials to the memory/storage of Snow 12. Those materials can be immediately displayed in magnified form on the Snow 12 screen. Alternatively, open the files within the text-to-speech option of Snow 12 and convert the printed word into speech. Words are highlighted in a contrasting color as they are spoken out loud.
One of the things we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of not touching our face, especially if we venture outside our homes. Keeping objects away from our face is helpful too, including magnifiers that are frequently touched.
A larger screen coupled with magnification can help maintain a healthier distance between us and the device we’re using to see things with. Snow 12 features a larger than average 12-inch display and magnification up to 19 times.
Need more? Use the supplied HDMI cable to connect Snow 12 with your HDMI TV or monitor and take magnification to another level.
Hands Free Operation
Most magnifiers are held with one hand while the free hand is used to hold an object or document you’re trying to see. Although Snow 12 can be used in this manner, it is the only portable video magnifier available with a foldable stand.
When cradled in the foldable stand Snow 12 sits about 30 cm/11 inches above the table. While this is perfect for reading and writing, it’s also great for hand crafting opportunities such as sewing DIY masks for yourself or others.
Although the prolonged staying at home can be boring at times, it’s also a great opportunity to resume activities we might not have practiced recently. It there’s enough space beneath the camera of a magnification device it can help introduce or reintroduce you to knitting, crossword puzzles, drawing, and of course reading.
Now that you’ve discovered your multitasking skills, you’ll need a multipurpose device to help out from time to time.
With Snow 12 and the foldable stand on the table in front of you, passing the time will be much easier. Place your hands and your handiwork underneath Snow 12 to see the results, or your favorite sudoku or crossword puzzle book and exercise your brain. For longer reading materials we suggest using the text-to-speech functionality and convert the printed word into speech for your listening pleasure.
Remember: a hobby all day keeps the snacking at bay. Who knew home activities could be so healthy?
We don’t spend all day in the same room at home, which means a portable magnification device has more utility than a larger desktop solution that never moves from its place.
Snow 12 is light enough and portable enough to allow you to place it anywhere at home. Use it in the kitchen to read recipes, use it in the living room to finish a crossword puzzle, or use in the bedroom to listen to books as you relax in the evening.
A low vision aid in your hands can feel priceless, especially when it positively impacts your visual independence. But this doesn’t mean you should spend more than you have to.
Compared to desktop magnification systems (CCTVs) costing thousands, Snow 12 is extremely affordable. But just the Snow 12 magnifier or for a little more, get the version with the foldable stand for added functionality and utility.
There may be smaller handheld magnifiers available, but their small screen makes it difficult to read or write effectively since you always need to hold the magnifier in one hand. Only Snow 12 with the foldable stand elevates allowing you to use both hands for the task in front of you. Unlike those other magnifiers Snow 12 includes OCR and speech – standard.
If you’re in the market for a versatile magnification device that offers the perfect blend of portability and functionality at an affordable price, look no further than Snow 12 from Zoomax.