A video magnifier or personal reading machine is a form of electronic magnification. A camera is directed at an object and the image is projected on a television or a computer monitor. A person reads by placing the reading material under the camera. The material is projected onto the television or computer screen.
Video magnifiers come in portable and desktop models and are the easiest low vision aid to use when a person needs greater than 3X magnification. A visually impaired person can read, look at recipes, do paper work, look at pictures, cut their finger nails, knit, and perform many tasks easily with this low vision aid. Some video magnifiers have movable cameras that allow a person to see near objects and can also be used to see the television, the board in a classroom and other distance objects. Computer compatible systems are also available which help with data entry and other tasks when using a computer.
Advantages of Video Magnifiers
- Magnification up to 84X. Standard eye glasses magnify up to +2.50 to +3.50 diopters, this is less than 1X power. Special low vision glasses and optical magnifiers magnify up to 20X (+80 diopters).
- Allows sufficient reading speed to make continuous text meaningful at high levels of magnification.
- Image polarity can be reversed increasing contrast and decreasing glare.
- Easily and instantly converts any material to large print.
- Very easy to use, even by the elderly.
- Good working distance—a person can read with a great deal of magnification and still be at a comfortable distance from the reading material.
- Good posture—a person can sit comfortably in front of high-quality images.