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Sony launches retinal projection camera kit to aid photographers with visual impairments
posted Monday, March 13, 2023 at 1:15 PM EDT
Sony has announced a new retinal project camera system to help photographers with visual impairments.
The Sony DSC-HX99 RNV is a kit that combines Sony's HX99 compact camera with a QD Laser Retissa Neoviewer. The Neoviewer is a specially designed viewfinder that utilizes laser retinal projection. The viewfinder projects a digital image directly onto a photographer's retina.
Retissa, the maker of the Neoviewer, designs technology to help the 250 million people worldwide suffering from low vision. Retissa works with ophthalmologists, orthoptists, opticians, schools for the blind, and many others to design products to improve the quality of life for those with low vision.
In the case of the Neoviewer, it fires a low-power, full-color laser beam through the center of the user's pupil and projects a crystal-clear image directly onto the retina. Basically, the retina becomes the screen. This sidesteps common issues many people have with the front part of their eyes, like the lens used to focus images. There's also no need for people to use corrective lenses when using the Neoviewer, as you always see a clear image, whether viewing something up-close or far away.
The new Sony HX99RNV kit includes the Retissa Neoviewer alongside Sony's HX99 camera. The camera is Sony's Cyber-shot travel zoom camera. It features a 24-720mm equivalent 30x zoom lens paired with an 18.2-megapixel 1/2.3-inch image sensor. The camera records 4K/30p video, features fast autofocus with Eye AF, and includes a useful control ring.
"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."
"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 hopes to make photography more accessible for a wider range of photographers and creators. To that end, Sony is bearing a portion of the costs and offering the new kit for $600. Sony also plans to collaborate with Japanese and American schools for the blind. This week, Sony will showcase the DSC-HX99 RNV kit at the CSUN Technology Assistive Conference 2023 trade show in Anaheim.