Electronic or video magnifiers are versatile tools to access print information for a lot of people with low vision. Recent developments in this technology include the introduction of more portable options and devices that can read out the text as well as display it visually.
The advantages of this technology over traditional optical magnifiers include:
- Enhanced contrast of the text to be read.
- Ability to view more of the text at one time.
- Versatile settings of brightness, contrast and colours to suit individual preferences.
- Lines and markers to focus on the text you wish to read.
Video magnifiers can be used to magnify print, handwriting and graphics from two times up to seventy times normal.
With most video magnifiers, the information to be read is placed on a moveable platform under a camera and the enlarged image is displayed on a screen above. Video magnifiers come as both desk-based and portable systems.
Full colour image video magnifiers offer a choice of foreground and background colours as well as a monochrome option.
Many video magnifiers also offer features which let you zero in on the exact information you wish to read, and can also magnify what you are writing (such as when filling in a form).
Some video magnifiers allow for viewing yourself for applying make-up or for viewing text at a distance, for example a whiteboard in a classroom.
It is a good idea for anyone considering purchasing a video magnifier to get some hands on experience before making a purchase. This will allow you to fully appreciate the features and differences between different video magnifier systems.