An assistive technology device which uses artificial intelligence to read text has allowed a Royal Artillery blind veteran to rediscover his love for reading in time for World Book Day on Thursday 7th March…

Cyril Saunders, 87-years-old and from Ipswich, first lost his sight through a torn retina in 1998, and then had further sight deterioration due to macular degeneration starting in 2008. As a result, he hasn’t been able to read a book for 20 years.

However, last year, Cyril visited the Blind Veterans UK rehabilitation centre in Brighton, and had the opportunity to try the OrCam MyReader, a wireless device which allows him to read printed and digital text from any surface. Cyril has now received a MyReader of his own through Blind Veterans UK.

He said: “After 20 years this little camera has given me the chance to settle down with a cup of tea and a book on a rainy afternoon and for that I will be eternally grateful. I’m excited to start getting into the adventures of Jack Reacher in the books by Lee Child.”

World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading. It’s designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries all over the world.