Wearable IrisVision headsets allow visually impaired to watch football

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Two young visually-impaired Southampton fans have been given life-changing wearable technology that will enable them to watch live action from football matches in a way they’ve never experienced before.

The breakthrough IrisVision technology magnifies whatever the wearer looks at, whether distant or near, through a lightweight VR-type headset, clearly showing the image in front of their eyes on a large screen.

In a football environment, watching live matches with IrisVision glasses gives the users much less of a restricted view, meaning they’ll be able to see all of the action on the pitch rather than certain areas.

Virgin Media, which sponsors Southampton FC, teamed up with the Premier League club and charity VisionAid to surprise Joshua (14 years old) and Florence (10 years old) with the innovative technology at a special experience at St Mary’s Stadium.

The pair are both visually impaired with Florence suffering from tunnel vision so she has little peripheral vision. This results in a constricted circular tunnel-like field of sight.

The technology will not only help them watch their favourite players, but in a tricky time of social distancing, the equipment will hugely help both Joshua and Florence with spatial awareness as well as being able to watch television clearly for the first time in their lives with their family.

Says Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media:

“We’re hopeful that this technology will be life-changing for both Joshua and Florence, helping them to not only watch television and assist with their learning during this difficult period, but also to watch live football when the Premier League resumes.”

There are over 5.1 million visually impaired people in the UK, 43% of whom are football fans, claims Virgin Media.

Chris Price
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