A comprehensive review of Envision Glasses by Jonathan Mosen
A couple of months back, Jonathan Mosen, a highly respected authority in the assistive tech industry and host of the popular podcast Mosen at Large, got his hand on a pair of Envision Glasses. He took his time playing using them and then shared his unbiased and objective opinions of his experience. Jonathan took the Envision Glasses through its paces and produced a very comprehensive review in a close to a two-hour-long podcast episode.
We highly recommend everyone who is interested in learning more about Envision Glasses to go and listen to his podcast episode in its entirety.
This blog post summarizes the salient points of his podcast for the benefit of readers who are looking for a short overview of Jonathan’s excellent review.
In general, Jonathan was very positive about the Envision Glasses. “Envision gives me plenty of good vibes”, says Mosen. He repeatedly commends the documentation and guidance the device provides, calling it a very “user-friendly experience”.
Jonathan comprehensively demonstrates each feature and details his thoughts about the entire experience. He even takes the glasses out on a joyride to the mall upon suggestion from a fellow Envisioner. Mosen shares his firsthand experience of the empowerment that comes with being an Envision Glasses user. After just a few weeks of wearing the glasses, Jonathan started visually interacting with the world around him and getting visual input in a way he couldn’t before with smartphone apps.
Jonathan believes that the way users feel about a company can make or break their decision to purchase an assistive technology over other competitors. His impression is that Envision is at a size where we are resourced well enough to make users feel encouraged about continuous feature improvement but small enough to care about individual customers. He emphasizes that maintaining customer trust is therefore likely to be a key factor in what sustains Envision’s growth in the long term. Hopefully, reviews like these continue to steer customers in the right direction.
We have structured the things he liked and things he felt could be improved in the following summary
- Jonathan notes that though his iPhone camera is “very good” and may even be better than the glasses for certain features (e.g. when using the Call feature), to him the main value of Envision Glasses is that it allows its users to be hands-free, which is a significant need in the low vision/blind community.
- Upon a suggestion from a fellow Envision user (one of our Beta-testers), he attempts to use the Instant Text feature while driving with someone and in a mall, to see what the Glasses identify, for example, signages and store names. The glasses were not perfect during this outing but Mosen had an “amazing” experience trying them out.
- Jonathan was so impressed with the accuracy of the Scan feature - he said “wow” several times during the demo period. He states that as a tech reviewer it “takes a lot for him to be wowed these days”.
- He considers the guides available to be “comprehensible”. He highlights that the Envision team “have taken the time and trouble to ensure that you can come up to speed really quickly with these glasses if you’re willing to read/listen”.
- He uses the Scan QR code feature to develop a convention for labeling items around his house rather than using Instant Text.
- He discusses the Hotspot and Wifi connections in detail and suggests his tips for “seamless transitions”.
- He mentions that the glasses have “lots of useful features” - thinks the features and menu are in a logical sequence and can get to them efficiently.
Areas for improvement
Jonathan doesn’t shy away from making remarks about the limitations of the glasses in his review. Here are the ones he highlights:
- He believes if there is one big flaw of the product, it is the lack of multi-user support. It is not a significant limitation for single users, but for blind people sharing the device, it could be a deal breaker.
- He would have liked to combine Find Objects with Instant Text. He would like to identify traffic lights but not at the expense of signage around him. He also would like to see more objects, especially ones that can be easily misplaced like his keys, to be on the list.
- His satisfaction with visually engaging with the world around him would improve if the glasses could do more within a single mode. He states Explore comes closest to this and gives suggestions for us on how to implement it but a minimum requirement would be to include Instant Text with Explore mode.
- He suggests product recognition features for products that are internationally available would be “cool” in the future.
- He tested the speed and accuracy of Describe Scene between the app and the glasses, and believed that the phone was faster, but the glasses were more accurate.
Our team has made a note of his feedback, along with the ones we have received from all our Envisioners, and we are already working on several of them. Stay tuned to watch them roll out in the upcoming updates.
Jonathan’s conclusion to the review is pretty extensive, and he ended the episode with the following statement:
“In short, the Envision Smart Glasses are a fantastic product. They’re intuitive, they do what the marketing says they’ll do, and they’re thoroughly documented. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you end up purchasing them.”
We would like to thank Jonathan for his independent review and sincere feedback.
If you would like to know more about Envision Glasses book a demo with one of the team online using this link.