Toy Story

This is a toy story. Yesterday the nice delivery person in his reindeer-brown truck brought me a present. What I got was a state-of-the-art, high-end closed circuit television system. This is also known as a CCTV.

I have been practicing on loaner CCTVs from Blindness and Visual Services (BVS). The models I have used thus far are older – one is 1987; this is not new technology – and not high-definition.

The model I will be getting for my very own – as soon as BVS and I pay for it and make ownership official – is pretty awesome. It is called the Magnilink Zip. It is marketed by Low Vision International which is somehow connected with Eschenbach. These are apparently both Swedish companies and they are doing great things for us with visual impairment. My handheld reader is also an Eschenbach.

The Magnilink Zip has a 17-inch screen. It has a camera that can be focused on either a document on the reading table or can be flipped around and focus on things out in the room. I was told this is a popular model with students because it allows them to see their professors and what is being written on the board.

I would like to reverse that and watch my students in DBT class.

The camera is high-definition as is the screen and the picture is incredible. Very sharp and clear. Magnification goes from a minimum which I estimate to be about 5x to 26x. Looking at something with 26x magnification is pretty wild. Not sure why anyone would need it, but it is there if you do.

The big reason I went for this particular model is it is portable. I work several different places and do a lot of work from the house. I could put three or four lesser quality CCTVs in all of my offices or I could have just one that goes around with me. The Magnilink Zip folds up small enough to fit in a carrying case that most people are able to carry slung from a shoulder. The whole thing weighs between 15 and 20 pounds.

I work several different places and do a lot of work from the house.  I can carry the Magnilink Zip with me.

All in all, not a bad piece of machinery at first sight. I am looking forward to actually ‘road testing’ my Magnilink Zip in the office really soon.

I do need to tell you the big drawback with the Magnilink Zip. That is, the machine is approximately $4000 for the top of the line model that I have. This one has all of the bells and whistles because I will be using it for work. They also make less expensive models with smaller screens and less portability. There may be a model that is more in your price range that will still fit your needs.

Click here for Low Vision International and Eschenbach.

That’s it for now. I might feature more of my toys in another post. There are lots of options out there and I hope you will be able to find the right toys for you.

Next: TOY STORY, TOO

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