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High-tech specs mean Cyril can curl up with a good book again

PUBLISHED: 19:36 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 19:36 04 March 2019

Blind veteran Cyril Saunders using his high tech AI glasses Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Blind veteran Cyril Saunders using his high tech AI glasses Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

A blind Ipswich veteran has been given the chance to rediscover his love of books thanks to a special high-tech gadget.

87-year-old Cyril Saunders served in the Royal Artillery and the Metropolitan Police Picture: RACHEL EDGE87-year-old Cyril Saunders served in the Royal Artillery and the Metropolitan Police Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Grandfather-of-five Cyril Saunders, 87, of Bucklesham Road, lost his sight 10 years ago after he suffered a torn retina in 1998 before developing macular degeneration in 2008.

As a result Cyril hasn’t been able to read, missing out on one of his big passions in life.

However, a new gadget called the OrCam MyReader has given him the chance to curl up with a good book again.

Attached to a frame of his glasses, the MyReader takes a digital photograph of whatever book or newspaper is in front of him and translates it into audio through an earpiece.

The gadget has helped Cyril rediscover his love for reading  Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe gadget has helped Cyril rediscover his love for reading Picture: RACHEL EDGE

He was donated the innovative piece of technology by charity Blind Veterans UK.

Mr Saunders said: “It’s so small you wouldn’t believe it.

“It’s just a little camera no more than an inch and a half long.

“I have spectacle frames and it just hooks on.

Cyril Saunders with his care worker Jenny from Blind Veterans UK Picture: RACHEL EDGECyril Saunders with his care worker Jenny from Blind Veterans UK Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“You just put it on and it will photograph whatever it’s pointing at and will read it to you.

“It even has a flash if it’s dark.

“If you have a notice you want to read and you have it upside down, it will tell you to turn it the right way up, too.

“It’s very clever.”

Mr Saunders, who served in the Royal Infantry after joining in 1949, said the gadget had allowed him to indulge in his love of reading again.

“I have been severely sight impaired for the last 10 years, I have no forward vision,” he said

“When I realised I couldn’t read I tried using audio books but it just isn’t the same as holding a book.

“Last year I went down to Brighton on holiday and ended up enquiring with Blind Veterans UK about it.

“I had a go with it and started reading the newspaper – I haven’t read one in years.

“I am 87 now so don’t get out much.

“I haven’t got a television so all I have is music and books.

“Blind Veterans UK have been wonderful to me.

“Getting the MyReader was the best thing to happen to me.”

Mr Saunders said he is especially looking forward to getting into the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child.

For more information on Blind Veterans UK visit www.blindveterans.org.uk

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