This is for me!

Researchers placed a printed pinhole array mask on top of an iPod touch as part of their prototype display. Shown above are top-down and side-view images of the setup. Credit: Fu-Chung Huang

The blurred image on the left shows how a farsighted person would see a computer screen without corrective lenses. In the middle is how that same person would perceive the picture using a display that compensates for visual impairments. The picture on the right is a computer simulation of the best picture quality possible using the new prototype display. The images were taken by a DSLR camera set to simulate hyperopic vision. Credits: Houang Stephane, Fu-Chung Huang/UC Berkeley

I have worn glasses for as long as I remember, so I am used to them. Yet, the increase of experience (ageing) is now forcing me to use two pairs of glasses one as I did before and one to look at the screen of my iPad and computer.

This is not very convenient (using multi-focal glasses apparently does not fit well with my brain vision system...) and so you can imagine how pleased I am to see this news from Berkeley where a team of researchers in cooperation with others at the MIT have invented a vision-correcting display.

For a full explanation on how it works you can watch the clip.

Rather than using lenses to look at the screen a software can adapt the rendering of images on the screen taking into account the specific vision impairment of the viewer. This has the addition advantage that not all visual impairment due to irregular shape of the cornea, known as high order aberration, can be resolved by glasses, whilst a software in principle can moro any image into any shape to fit the viewer impairment (this does not applies to impairment in the retina of course).

The trick is based on adding a pinhole sheet (sandwiched between two plastic layers for rigidity and to provide the right spacing from the screen) and a software that can change the luminosity of the pixels on the display so that the image gets distorted in the desired way and through a process called "deconvolution" the rays flowing through the pin hole layer are directed in such a way to recreate a sharp image on the viewer (that in practice will compensate the distortion artificially created in the displayed image by the opposite distortion created by his impairment).

I have not had the opportunity of trying this out but I have it on my agenda for my next trip to Berkeley or MIT.

Author - Roberto Saracco

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