Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed
a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects without requiring
glasses or contact lenses. This technique could lead to dashboard-mounted
GPS displays that farsighted drivers can consult without putting their glasses on, or electronic
readers that eliminate the need for reading glasses. This display is a variation on a glasses-free
3-D technology. The 3-D display projects slightly different
images to the viewer’s left and right eyes. Similarly, this vision-correcting display
projects slightly different images to different parts of the viewer’s pupil. Lot of people have refractive errors. It is
estimated that about 40% of the U.S population has Myopia or Nearsightedness, 25% are farsighted.
For the last 200 years eye glasses have been the primary means to correct refractive errors
in the eyes. Today, we also have contact lenses, or we can do surgery. Surgery, however, can sometimes be dangerous, and eye glasses and contact lenses are a kind of annoying, because you
have to wear them on your head or stick to them to eyes. Our Team has invented a new
technology that corrects for the refractive errors in the eye using a display. Basically
puts the glasses on display rather than on your head.
As the screens become higher and higher resolution, it is not just for looking at them in HD, one way we can prove those very small pixels, is to create 3D display. What we are doing now is,
not just 3D, it is about creating Displays that correct for the human eye.
We noticed that the people most of the times wear glasses to see 2D better, not 3D. We
built a low-cost prototype that you can clip on to your existing phone and turn out into
a vision correcting display. It is basically a special printed transparency. The pattern
on the transparency is an array of pin holes that basically codes the image that we show on the display for the human observer. And, we use special algorithms to create the images that
we show on the display. These vision correcting screens are, by the way, are highly personalized.
And that’s because, the hardware technology is fixed, but in the software you can dial
in for whatever prescription you may have. We successfully demonstrated that we can correct
for Myopia, Hyperopia, astigmatism, and even higher errors that are difficult to correct
with the conventional glasses. You can imagine this technology to be integrated in your phone,
in a Tablet, in a Laptop, in a e-reader or even in a car to see GPS better and the speedometer. We hope to
also help people on the developing world that don’t necessarily have the access to health infrastructure
as we do here. If you don’t have your prescription you can’t correct your refractive errors,
you can’t see or read properly. This can lead to illiteracy and in some cases even unemployment.
By building technology that helps people to see better we help to make an impact on their lives.