Messi collaborates with Israel's OrCam to increase awareness for the blind and visually impaired
OrCam will arrange meetings between dozens of visually impaired people from around the world with the soccer superstar and he will gift them the OrCam MyEye
Israeli company OrCam Technologies announced on Wednesday that football legend Lionel Messi will be the company's new ambassador. OrCam and Messi aim to improve accessibility through the company's AI technologies for people who are blind or visually impaired and increase awareness of the challenges they face.
As a component of the project, OrCam will arrange meetings between dozens of visually impaired people from around the world with the soccer superstar. Every year, Messi will gift the OrCam MyEye, a wireless, lightweight, artificial vision device that discreetly reads printed and digital text, to people with inspiring stories who are blind or visually impaired, some of whom he will personally meet in Barcelona. These individuals will each become members of the "OrCam Dream Team," led by Messi.
The first of these meetings has already taken place. "The emotion was incredible. Meeting with this amazing group of people from around the world was truly a magical and inspiring moment," said Messi. "Witnessing each of the members of the 'Dream Team' trying out the OrCam MyEye features, it was clear that this would be a life-changing device for each of them. I am proud to be an OrCam Ambassador to truly make a difference for so many."
Approximately 300 million people worldwide suffer from blindness or varying degrees of visual impairment.
"This is a particularly exciting point in time for me and for OrCam. The story of OrCam's founding is, first and foremost, a story of people – people who struggle with real problems and challenges in their lives. Our goal is to use sophisticated 'AI-as-a-companion' technology that helps people with disabilities in real time, in the real world," explained Amnon Shashua, co-founder and co-CEO of OrCam. "In the performance of daily activities, the device offers independence, providing users with critical support to better integrate into society, especially within employment and educational settings. This technology supports users in amplifying their inherent potential. We are convinced that this collaboration with Messi – who is the embodiment of maximizing potential, and an individual who is admired worldwide – will allow us to reach millions of people in need."