This week sees the tech industry wheel out its shiniest new gadgets as CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) lands in Las Vegas, and while Sony launched a car, Toyota launched a city, and Proctor & Gamble launched a robot that brings you a toilet roll, others brought products with more humanitarian intentions. One such product is Lexilight, a reading aid lamp designed to help dyslexic people read more easily.
The concept is based on research by French physicists Albert Le Floch and Guy Ropars, who in 2017, claimed to have found a cause for dyslexia. Testing light receptor cells in the human eye, they discovered that non-dyslexics have a dominant eye that helps them to take in written information more easily; whereas people with dyslexia have two dominant eyes, which produces mirror images, hence disturbing the reading process and potentially explaining why letters such as ‘p’ and ‘b’ often get confused.
Lexilight works by combining pulsating light and modulated light – a technique that was part of the tests in the original research – aiming to cancel out the mirror effect, making reading easier for those with dyslexia. As the light flashes imperceptibly, it effectively erases one of the two images being delivered to the brain.
Settings for the pulsation and modulation can be adjusted individually to adapt to each person, or switched off entirely so it can function as a standard lamp as well. The product also uses LEDs that the makers say will offer better colour rendering, and light wave settings for better contrast.
According to the French manufacturers Lexilife, the lamp has been tested on people with dyslexia and 90% found it improved their reading ability.
Being the first of its kind, the Lexilight carries a weighty price tag of £549 at the moment, and is only currently available in Europe, but – if it’s successful – could provoke a wave of products to cater for the condition.