Indian Origin Scientist Invents Home Eye Test
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25 June 2010
Going to an eye clinic for a simple eye test may soon become pass, thanks to the efforts of an Indian–origin American scientist, who has developed a simple method of testing eyes by using a smartphone and a specially designed eyepiece.
The application, a brainchild of Ramesh Raskar of the Camera Culture group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, could provide a home–based eye test for millions of people who cannot easily access regular optometry services.
Raskar’s Near–to–Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment (Netra) comprises a viewer that fits over a cellphone’s screen combined with software running on the phone.
To test a person’s eyesight, the phone displays an image which may appear as a pair of parallel lines, say – on the screen, which the eyepiece converts into a virtual 3D display.
Thereafter, the subject has to focus on the image and use the phone’s keyboard to adjust the lines so that they merge.
The extent of the adjustment needed reveals the amount of correction the eye will require to focus clearly.
That is translated in to dioptres – a number which opticians can use to provide corrective lenses.