Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are making vision correction the job of your device's display technology, eliminating the need for corrective lenses.
According to a report by the MIT Technology Review
, past attempts to do such a thing have led to crisp, sharp high-definition imaging, although they haven't succeeded in adapting to individual vision requirements until now.
In the technology, a given optical prescription is processed by means of algorithms and a light filter in front of the display.
The result leads the algorithm to change the light of each individual pixel, and when the light gets filtered through the tiny holes in the plastic, the rays provide a sharper image upon reaching the retina.
Researchers developed their technology in a study in which they started by taking bright colorful images of hot air balloons or paintings and warping them using the algorithms.
To those with certain eye conditions, the images were far from warped: they were crystal clear upon reaching an iPod Touch equipped with a plastic light filter.
MIT Media Lab research scientist and co-author of the paper Gordon Wetzstein says that the filter-equipped screen transforms a generic, two-dimensional display into what's known in the scientific community as a "light field display."
In other words, the screen itself regulates the way each light ray emanates from the display.
Researchers tested their technology using a Cannon DSLR camera, and end result produced a clearer image without any compromise to contrast.
While the technology is promising for just about anyone with vision problems of any kind, Wetzstein and his team are particularly hopeful that it could provide a solution to those with severe vision problems that are impossible to correct using glasses or contacts.
The solution is promising on an individual basis, although researchers are now faced with the hurdle of how to make it possible for several people with different vision problems to watch TV together using the technology.
Study co-author Ramesh Raskar says high resolution might make it possible for more than one person to watch at a time.
Although minor problems need to be addressed before the technology will be marketed for mainstream use, researchers are confident that the remaining hurdles will be easy to cross.