Ambassador Insights: Shopping Trip to Buy Settees

Guest post by Anna.


Anna has retinitis pigementosa and became an OXSIGHT Ambassador in December 2018. She is currently enjoying all the ways that OXSIGHT Crystal is enhancing her life. 


There had been plans to buy two settees for our sitting room for quite some while. Whenever we buy something new, there tends to be quite a bit of discussion so that we make the best choice to suit both of us. Buying two settees is a lot of money and, on top of this, the choice is important as we’ll be looking at the settees and sitting on them almost every day.


My husband was particularly concerned about comfort, far more so than me. He’s tall and our present settee leaves his head unsupported. He also wanted a settee that could recline. I, on the other hand, was more interested in something that would look reasonably stylish and appropriate in our “cottage-y” front room.


So, the two of us, plus my guide dog, hit the January sales. I was not very optimistic. I thought that the chance of finding anything that would meet all our needs was highly unlikely. The trip didn’t start off well. Everything that my husband found comfortable, I thought was unstylish and ugly. For some reason, all our local settee shops are bunched together which means that you can literally walk round about six of them without getting in the car. We had been round three without any success at all. I’d seen two that I’d liked, neither of which had tall enough backs or a recline function. My husband had seen numerous settees he’d liked, and had sat in one or two of them, enjoying the comfort of a high back and an electric recliner, looking at me pleadingly: I was beginning to feel a bit guilty.


Before putting on the glasses I found myself using my hands to feel the settees in order to get an idea of their shape. I spent a lot of time asking my husband what colour the settees were, and what the patterns were like. I also found some of the shops were rather dimly lit in places and could barely see where the furniture was, let alone what style or colour it was. When the light was good enough for me to see the settees, my pinhole vision meant that I could see just a very small part at any one time (about a saucer-size worth), so it was very difficult to get an idea of the overall shape. My husband was finding it hard to explain where the settees were: he either guided me directly to them, or took my hand and placed it on the part of the settee he was talking about. I couldn’t see any of the sales assistants very clearly, if at all. It was as if their voices were appearing from nowhere.


When I put on the glasses, I could see every piece of furniture, no matter how dimly lit the shop was, with ease. I could also see the whole of a settee at once, rather than a tiny bit of it. I could see the styles very easily and see the materials and colours well. I could also see when people were pointing at things and could interact more effectively.


At one point a sales assistant came over and asked if the glasses were Google Glasses. He was very interested in them. I was amazed that I could see him so clearly. I proved it to him by describing him – “I can see you have dark hair, glasses, and a beard”. He was completely taken aback that technology could enable a woman with a guide dog to describe him so accurately.


There were a lot of sales and, to really benefit, we needed to make our minds up quickly as many of them would soon be over. The glasses enabled me to make choices with considerably more ease than if I was feeling each piece of furniture, asking my husband to describe its shape and colour, and trying to interact with sales assistants whom I could barely see.


Overall, the glasses were invaluable on our trip. We bought two settees for a great price. They are comfortable, they recline with the assistance of a motor, have tall backs, and — as far as I’m concerned — look stylish. All three of us came home happy from an unusually pain-free and successful shopping trip.

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