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Computers correct image for user's vision

The days of using eye correction for those long hours in front of the computer screen may be drawing to a close, thanks to pioneering work from researchers in the US.

A team from the University of California, Berkley (UCB) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are designing digital displays which adjust to the visual requirements of individual users, providing a clear, focused image without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
 
The technology could provide a lens-free solution for long-sighted users who require glasses for using a smartphone or tablet and for computer work. 
 
Dr Fu-Chung Huang, formerly of UCB and now a software engineer for Microsoft, said: “The significance of this project is that, instead of relying on optics to correct your vision, we use computation.” 
 
The latest prototype of the vision-correcting display, which can be laid on top of an iPod display, uses a printed screen sandwiched between two layers of clear plastic. The central layer contains thousands of pinholes, 75µm in diameter, spaced 390µm apart. 
 
A computer algorithm then adjusts the intensity of light in certain directions on a pixel by pixel basis, distorting the image for the visual impairment of each individual user, in a process called deconvolution. The effect means that while the image is corrected for one user, others with different visual needs may not see so clearly.
 
Brian Barsky, professor of computer science at UCB and affiliate professor of optometry, said: “Our technique distorts the image such that, when the intended user looks at the screen, the image will appear sharp to that particular viewer.” 
Beyond presbyopia, the researchers are eyeing a potential use for higher order aberrations, which may not be correctable with glasses or contact lenses. They add that the technology could be combined with eye tracking software to determine the position of the user’s head and update the display automatically.
 
(Taken from Optometry Today www.optometry.co.uk)

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