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Prototype Display Lets You Say Goodbye to Reading Glasses

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Researchers use a camera and lenses to simulate an eye with nearsightedness looking at an E shown on a modified iPod Touch display.

New display technology can alter an image based on a person's actual vision prescription to present a sharply defined image.

Credit: Rachel Metz/MIT Technology Review

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed display technology that corrects vision problems.

The technology relies on algorithms to alter an imaged based on a person's vision prescription and a light filter set in front of the display. The algorithm changes the light from each individual pixel so that, when fed through a tiny hole in the plastic filter, the eye sees a sharp image.

The researchers say the method could be used for more serious visual problems, such as spherical aberration, which causes different parts of the lens to refract light differently.

As part of the study, the researchers took images and applied algorithms that warped the image by taking into account the specific eye condition it was told to account for. The researchers then displayed the images on a device with an acrylic slab and plastic screen pierced with thousands of tiny, evenly spaced holes. The specialized screen enables a regular two-dimensional display to control the way individual light rays emanate from the display, resulting in a sharper image without degrading contrast.

In the future, the researchers want to build prototype displays that people can use in the real world, says MIT researcher Gordon Wetzstein.

From Technology Review
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