Sony's new laser-based camera kit can help those with low vision see clearly

The company is even bearing some of the costs of the new device.
Loukia Papadopoulos
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Sony's DSC-HX99RNV kit.


Sony Electronics has released the DSC-HX99RNV kit, a new retinal projection camera kit that uses lasers to help people with low vision see well enough to capture the world around them, according to a press release published on Monday.

For this project, Sony joined forces with QD Laser to offer a new experience with focus-free retinal projection, allowing people with low vision a new, sharper way to view and photograph the world.

The kit combines Sony's DSC-HX99 compact camera and QD Laser's RETISSA NEOVIEWER.

"We continue to leverage creativity and technology to enhance the accessibility of our products, services, and experiences. The Retina Projection Camera kit is a step in our commitment to a future that empowers all types of creators," says Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. 

"Sony welcomes the opportunity to use our digital imaging technology in this new and innovative way."

Sony describes the DSC-HX99 as the Cyber-shot travel zoom model that covers everything from wide-angle to super-telephoto in a compact body completed with a 24-720 mm (30x) high-power zoom lens. 

Meanwhile, QD Laser's RETISSA NEOVIEWER has the capacity to project a digital image from the camera to the retina in order to see the surroundings, allowing the user to take a photo and record a video. 

A new way to view the world

When combined, the two technologies offer a new way for those with visual impairments to view landscapes and people's faces, read signs, and capture images through retinal projection. The new device also boasts full-fledged shooting, such as high-speed, high-precision AF performance, and support for recording in RAW format.

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"The laser retinal projection of RETISSA NEOVIEWER is a completely new technology that has been put to practical use for the first time in the world," says Dr. Mitsuru Sugawara, President and CEO of QD Laser, Inc. 

"With the DSC-HX99 RNV kit that includes Sony's digital still camera, we hope that people who may have found traditional viewfinders difficult to use will now enjoy taking photos, expanding their range of activities, and discovering new worlds."

Sony offers the new device at only $600, bearing a portion of the costs, and plans a collaboration with Japanese and American schools for the blind that assist people with low vision.

The kit will be available to purchase in the U.S. starting early Summer 2023, stated the press release.

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