An assistive technology device which uses artificial intelligence to read printed and digital text in real time has allowed a Royal Artillery blind veteran to rediscover his love for reading in time for World Book Day on March 7.

Blind veteran Cyril reading using OrCam

Cyril Saunders, 87-years-old and from Ipswich, first lost his sight through a torn retina in 1998, and then had further sight deterioration due to macular degeneration starting in 2008.

As a result, he hasn’t been able to read a book for 20 years. However, last year, Cyril visited the our rehabilitation centre in Brighton, and had the opportunity to try the OrCam MyReader, a wireless device which allows him to read printed and digital text from any surface. Cyril has now received an OrCam MyReader of his own.

“After 20 years this little camera has given me the chance to settle down with a cup of tea and a book on a rainy afternoon and for that I will be eternally grateful. I’m excited to start getting into the adventures of Jack Reacher in the books by Lee Child.”

World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading. It’s designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

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