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Electronic Headset Helps Legally Blind Colorado Graphic Designer See

DENVER (CBS4) - A graphic designer who has worked in the television industry for 30 years has been slowly losing his vision. Mike Jones has a genetic disease with no cure. But he was offered the use of a special pair of goggles.

Mike Jones (3)
(credit: CBS)

Mike tells Health Specialist Kathy Walsh that as his vision gets worse, IrisVision has helped him see.

His work is exceptional. Mike is a designer, animator, director and award winner. He creates on his computer. But 8 years ago, he started to lose sight of it.

"I started having trouble driving at night. That was the first time I noticed it," he said.
Mike has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease.

It is genetic. Mike's father is totally blind. Now, Mike is legally blind.

"I don't have central vision," he explained.

Mike Jones (1)
(credit: CBS)

By day, it's like a fog. By night ...

"It's basically a black spot," said Mike.

He has been coping by using tools to help blind people. He's been given the chance to try a $2,950 device called IrisVision. It's a Samsung smartphone that fits into a virtual reality headset. It's got software to help with contrast and magnification.

"And now I can see you, Kathy," Mike said as he demonstrated the goggles. "And I can see details."

Mike can control it with touch or his voice.

With IrisVision, Mike can now see the controls so he can start the oven and dishwasher. He can change a battery in his smoke alarm.

"It's the only way sometimes I can get something done," he said.

Mike Jones (4)
(credit: CBS)

With the help of the technology, Mike has even taken on new projects.

Retinitis pigmentosa cannot be reversed.

"I don't know how long I have until my sight is completely gone," he said.

Until then, Mike hopes to use IrisVision and other devices to continue to work and function in the world.

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