Daily California: People with vision problems may be able to forgo eyeglasses and contact lenses when viewing screens, with the development of a technology that alters devices to compensate for visual impairments.
Researchers at UC Berkeley developed a method using algorithms to change images pixel by pixel to adjust for the viewer's specific visual aberration, an impairment that causes the eye to see a blurred or distorted image.
The most recent iteration of the project includes a perforated screen in front of the display itself that makes the image clearer and improves the contrast.
Brian Barsky, a professor of computer science and vision science and affiliate professor of optometry at UC Berkeley and the leader of the project said what's really exciting is that this research will go beyond common vision problems and address some optical problems that cannot be corrected by eyeglasses.
While lower-order aberrations such as astigmatism can be easily corrected, higher-order aberrations often cause irregularities in the cornea and lens that are harder to compensate for with contact lenses or eyeglasses.
The current prototype uses images displayed on an iPod Touch that appear distorted but are sharp when viewed through a camera that is set to simulate a farsighted individual.
The technology would be especially useful for those who already wear contacts or eyeglasses but can't read up close, as the display could be adjusted for the eye correction the individual is wearing and enable him or her to see the screen without reading glasses. It would also be helpful for people who view screens for long periods of time.
Although Barsky's team is not the first to work on this problem, it was the first to see satisfying results by using multiple layers of LCD panels to achieve a sharper image and higher contrast than previous methods, Huang said.