Do you know someone who has dyslexia? That’s not unlikely. The University of Michigan estimates in their dyslexia information portal that “between 5-10% of the population has dyslexia, but this number can also be as high as 17%”. The Lili lamp was designed with people with dyslexia in mind, and their goal is to support people with dyslexia to be augmented through technology and with that equipment to read more easily.
What is dyslexia, and how does that impact people?
Dyslexia is a brain-based neurological condition that primarily affects the ability to read. It also impacts reading comprehension, language skills, and spelling abilities. Dyslexia is not an intellectual disability or mental illness, but it affects one’s self-confidence because of its challenges with day-to-day tasks. It can be frustrating for those who have dyslexia as they try to tackle tasks that other people might find easier, such as learning how to spell words or writing essays at school.
About the startup Lili
Frederic Granotier founded the startup company Lili in September 2020. They registered a patent worldwide for their solution in order to protect the technology from being duplicated by others and prevent fake products from invading the market. In December 2020, those disruptive discoveries on the cause of dyslexia were rewarded by a prize from the French National Academy of Medicine.
How does the Lili lamp work?
Clearly, the solution from Lili to help people with dyslexia with reading is not a regular lamp just to make it brighter. The Lili lamp uses flashing light in a frequency that human eyes cannot comprehend as a flash to help manage the “mirror effect” of reading when you have dyslexia. This was discovered by the two French physicists, Albert Le Floch and Guy Ropars.
Due to these light flashes that the Lili lamp creates, there is a time lag about how the human brain processes the visual perception of letters and numbers, which is said to remove these image overlays. Lili claims that based on that, the process of reading is becoming “more fluent, faster, less tiring, thus allowing a better understanding of the meaning of the text read.” After test runs, they have found out that close to 80% of Lili lamp users have mentioned improvements in reading and understanding text.
Is that all the Lili lamp does?
There’s a bit more to the Lili lamp, though. It’s designed to be as valuable for home use just as much as it can be used as a portable device to augment reading abilities. Dyslexia does not only affect children, but it hits them just as hard as adults throughout their time in school. For this very use case, it makes sense to have a gadget that can be easily transported from A to B in a case and provides a battery to run for six hours on its own. This is undoubtedly just as useful to adults with dyslexia who work in careers that require them to read papers or books.
Also interesting: Microsoft and Made by Dyslexia Team up to Support Dyslexic Students
Beyond that, the Lili lamp comes with a smartphone app called Liliforlife on both Android and iOS, which connects to the gadget and lets the users change how the product works, and allows them to save personalized settings. This way, people can find out what setting helps them the most to improve how they are reading and not just rely on the default configuration of the light. However, the lamp doesn’t permanently need the users to check the app just to switch it on or off. The app is only necessary to adjust these settings and can perfectly work in a standalone mode once the perfect setting has been found.
How much does the Lili lamp cost?
Lili started worldwide marketing efforts for the lamp yesterday, the 3rd of January 2022. Everyone can check detail on their website, and the price is currently fixed at €349, which means a little less than $400 US. On top of that would be some more shipping costs as well. So, for example, if you’d order a Lili lamp and want them to ship to the US, there’d be a €60 (about $67.75) surplus to cover shipping costs, but it’s not uncommon for startups that don’t have distributors all over the globe yet.
If you’re curious how dyslexic people experience reading and can be challenged by that, you can have a look at this website by Victor Widell that simulates the condition. This might not be perfect, and indeed, it is hard to comprehend this type of challenge, but it might help people to understand the difficulties better.
Lili lamp presentation video (unfortunately only in French language as of now)
Photo credit: All material shown is owned by Lili and was provided as part of a press kit.