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Rangers FC becomes first UK club to adopt AI device for blind fans

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Visually impaired and blind fans visiting the Ibrox Stadium to watch Rangers FC can now have access to special technology that helps them to read match day programmes and navigate the ground more effectively.

Rangers has become the first UK football club to offer a new artificial intelligence solution which can read text, as well as recognise faces and products.

The OrCam MyEye 2 device will assist its blind and visually impaired fans, as well as anyone who has difficulty reading printed text on match days and during stadium tours.

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The OrCam MyEye 2 device uses artificial intelligence to analyse visual information and instantly communicate it to the user via audio.

Fans will be able to book the device in advance of their visit through the Rangers website. When they arrive, they will be given a quick training session by staff, and will then be able to borrow the device for the duration of their visit. The OrCam device is wireless and attaches magnetically to any pair of glasses.

The OrCam MyEye 2 instantly reads any printed or digital text off of any surface, including newspapers, books, menus, street signs, and screens.

At Rangers this will include any match day printed materials that would usually be inaccessible for blind and visually impaired fans, as well as descriptions of the exhibits on the stadium tours.

Rangers staff are also working to get the OrCam device to recognise some of the exhibits on the stadium tour, such as artists impressions of past players.

Rangers’ health safety and access manager, Liz Kay, said: “This is a huge step for the club towards helping blind and visually impaired fans.

“We have become the first club across all the professional leagues in the UK to purchase the OrCam device which is a ground-breaking move. The impact it will have on our fans is immeasurable and it makes areas of the club, like stadium tours, inclusive to all.”

Ian White, a visually impaired OrCam user and trainer came to the Ibrox Stadium to train Rangers staff on how to use the OrCam MyEye 2 device.

He said: “For me, being able to read the programme on a match day is a really big thing, it makes you feel much more part of the whole day.”

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Joe Peskett

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