The Battle For ORCAM

I’m attending a Frankfort Lions Club Board of Directors meeting this evening. I resigned from the Board a few years ago after fifteen years. It was time to let the young people direct the club. I have switched my efforts to the BOD of OASIS, which serves those with vision problems. The issue on the table is that OASIS inherited a device called ORCAM from someone who passed. It is well over ten years old, and now we are trying to determine what to do with it. A quick call to the ORCAM distributor gave us some information that was in error. We were told that the old device needed to be upgraded. Like most computers, it requires some serious upgrading to handle today’s software. The cost was quoted at $1600.00. A brand-new one costs $4500. It was my job to sell this upgrade to the Lions Club. They, of course, are much smarter than I am and challenged the cost. The list of questions fired at me, the messenger, were too many and too complicated for me to answer. I went home with my tail between my legs, head down, and a bleak look.

I am not a total dummy, so I sought help getting answers and recruited two more Lions to assist. Happily, this evening, we will present a happier picture. The story has changed from $1600 for an upgrade of a 2011 unit, which will make it function only slightly better, to $1600 for a new unit with all the bells and whistles of 2023.

I believe the Distributor’s Representative tried to discourage us from seeking the upgrade, and has changed his original story from upgrade to buy a new unit, and since he screwed up so badly he is willing to give it to us at cost. If we (I) fail tonight, we will merely dig our heels in deeper and devise a new plan to secure an ORCAM for a deserving person.

For those of you who don’t know what an ORCAM is, I’ll explain to the best of my ability.

ORCAM is a company in Israel that invented a device that attaches to a pair of eyeglasses. The body of the ORCAM holds a tiny camera, a computer, and a speaker. The wearer can hold up a document, and the camera sees it for him. It then reads the printed words and transmits the sound to the wearer’s ear via a speaker built into the rear of the body. Between the eye and the ear a computer recognizes the words and converts them to sounds. The unit can also recognize faces to tell the wearer who he is talking to. That feature requires that pictures of people be entered into the ORCAM memory.

2 Responses

  1. ORCAM – what a wonderful wonderful invention.

    • It is a wonderful device, but it is very expensive, and people shy away from it.

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