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This Star Trek-Style Headset Can Help Legally Blind People See

A futuristic innovation for eye disorders.A futuristic innovation for eye disorders.
A futuristic innovation for eye disorders.Photography by Guido Mieth—via Getty Images

A headset that helps the legally blind see is bringing science fiction tech to the 21st century market.

Medical technology firm eSight is out with a new product (dubbed the eSight 3) that can enhance legally blind people’s ability to see with a combination of a liquid lens, optical prisms, and a high resolution display, according to CNET.

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The device may strike a cord with fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation – it’s reminiscent of the high-tech visor that LeVar Burton’s character uses to modify his own vision.

But you don’t have to venture to the final frontier for this particular innovation. “I remember putting them on and looking up and I saw my husband who I’d been married to for eight years and had never seen before,” one blind patient who uses the eSight 3 told CNET. “And my 2-month-old son, who we had just brought home from the hospital and he was holding him and it was the most beautiful image, like it’s burned in my mind for the rest of my life.”

eSight CEO Dr. Brian Mech says that the non-invasive device has a 50-50 shot at working on various eye conditions, although it’s currently more effective for diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetes-related vision loss than it is for glaucoma.

But the “non-invasive” component could be particularly compelling. There’s no surgery and no medication involved – just putting on a headset that resembles virtual reality tech.