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What We’re Reading

This year we’ll bring you a regular blog on articles, stories, and content that caught our attention in the news.

At the start of this year we’re inspired by these stories that focus with optimism on the future:

The first article, by reporter Kevin Roose, appeared in the New York Times earlier this month. In Some Things About Tech Were Good in 2017, Roose puts the spotlight on two companies, Aira and eSight who are using technology for good, specifically in the field of vision. Aira, a start-up in San Diego, provides “visual interpreters” through an on-demand subscription service. Users wear camera-equipped glasses that share what they see over a built in wireless connection with a sighted person who then describes their surroundings or guides them through a task. eSight, based in Toronto, is building vision-assisted headsets, which use digital cameras and image-processing algorithms to capture and enhance what the user sees.

While we know that a simple pair of glasses is key to correct vision on a daily basis, we’re always interested in learning about other ways that the problem can be addressed and appreciate the focus that that these tech companies are putting on the problem of visual impairment.

The second piece is really an entire magazine. As many of you know Bill Gates served as guest editor of Time for January and his focus for the publication was Optimism. Besides featuring changemakers like Bono and Malala Yousafzai, the issue also  used special Augmented Reality experiences to bring the stories and infographics to life. And the cover features an animation narrated by Gates which tells the story of Mohamad Nasir, an Ethiopian boy, who Gates first met shortly after his birth. Mohamad recently celebrated his fifth birthday, a cause of celebration for many as it exemplifies the improving child survival rates in Ethiopia and throughout the world. We were so inspired by this piece we focused our January blog on the optimistic future we expect in our work in the world of vision.

With their focus on optimism, both pieces are worth the read and can serve us all as we chart our own courses of impact in 2018 and beyond.