The Eazy Reader Deluxe is an electronic magnifier developed by Smart Visions, LLC that uses a digital camera to capture and enlarge text and images. A cable or USB adapter connects the device to a TV screen or computer monitor where the magnified images are displayed.
Testing the Eazy Reader
The Eazy Reader looks like a small telescope mounted in a metal frame. The camera lens points down. The device stands on its own and can be set directly on the material one wishes to magnify.
I tested the Eazy Reader by hooking it into a 13-inch color TV. You can increase magnification using a larger screen or monitor. I could magnify images up to 30 times. Connecting to a 42-inch can yield images at 200x.
You can also plug the Eazy Reader into computer with a $99 adapter available from Smart Vision.
The device lives up to its name: I had it unpacked, set up, and in use within minutes. You just plug a yellow-tipped adapter into the TV's video-in socket and a red-tipped one into the power cord and plug it in. Then, set your TV to the input channel (where you play videos or DVDs) and press the red button on top to turn it on.
The device lights up immediately and you'll see whatever is underneath the camera - in my case, the table's wood grain -- appear on the TV screen.
I used the Eazy Reader to enlarge box scores and a roadmap, examine details in photographs, and read passages from a magazine and a book, sliding the device along the lines of text.
The device has two controls: a wheel atop the frame you can turn to increase magnification, and the lens, which you can focus manually.
The Eazy Reader takes some time to get used to. It automatically focuses and adjusts to light levels. This is fine when zooming in on photos, but can make reading text tedious.
The most efficient way to use the Eazy Reader is to have your text on a flat surface directly in front of your TV or computer monitor. This creates a comfortable reading posture and keeps image clarity more consistent.
Eazy Reader Features & Benefits
The Eazy Reader Deluxe features three improvements over Smart Vision's original Easy Reader:
- A higher-quality Sony Super HAD CCD digital color camera
- Ability to increase magnification by adjusting camera height
- More durable construction -- metal instead of composite plastic.
Other features include:
- Compact & portable: weighs less than 1 pound
- Adjusts automatically to different light levels
- Built-in electronic shutter control
- Simple to install, focus, and use
- A 6-foot power supply cord that eliminates the need for batteries
- A 30-day "No-Questions-Asked" return policy.
Eazy Reader Offers Immediate Uses
The magnification the Eazy Reader Deluxe affords persons with low vision can make life easier almost immediately.
I discovered this when I needed the serial number printed on the base of my computer. I flipped it over, but couldn't decipher the digits with just magnifying glass.
Luckily, the Eazy Reader was hooked up on an adjacent table. I steadied the overturned computer with one hand and maneuver the Eazy Reader camera with the other. The digits appeared big as life onscreen, but I couldn't jot them down.
I grabbed my Victor Reader Stream, read the digits aloud to record them, and transcribed them a few minutes later. It was a bit awkward, but it solved an immediate problem.
I saw so many uses: reading prescriptions, nutrition labels, bills, bank statements, insurance policies. I held the Eazy Reader over my watch face and saw instantly why my alarm wasn't going off.
The only limitation I found with the device is that it was labor-intensive for sustained reading. The Eazy Reader's automatic adjustments made navigating the curving lines of text in a bound book fatiguing.
Ultimately, however, the Eazy Reader's portability and ease of use make it one of those aids persons with low vision will turn to on a daily basis.
About Smart Visions, LLC
Optometrist Thomas Dahlby launched Smart Visions, LLC to help patients with eye conditions – including cataracts, Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa -- that render them unable to read standard print.
On the Smart Vision website includes a product video, a glossary of vision-related terms, and a link for setting up a free phone consultation with Dr. Dahlby.
Smart Visions, LLC
3215 Farnam Street
La Crosse, WI 54601