October 24, 2011

Could Your Smartphone Soon Qualify As Your Eye Doctor As Well?

Will smartphones soon start helping users to improve their eyesight? A group of scientists from Tel Aviv are trying to pull off exactly that. They have developed a smartphone app that will help users process blurred text and images in a better way, thus allowing them to continue working without any eyeglasses.

The app, aptly named GlassesOff, displays groups of blurred lines at various sections of the screen, with the positions of the groups being shifted at a constant rate. The user has to try to identify when a particular group of lines appears at the center of the screen.

The team of scientists that developed the app has claimed that volunteers with an average age of 51 were able to read an optician’s chart better (they could accurately see up to two more lines of text than they could beforehand) after using the app 40 times. The chart was kept 40 centimeters away from the eyes of the volunteers in each case. Uri Polat, one of the scientists involved in the development of the app, recently stated, “we’re using the brain as glasses“, in an interview with the New Scientist Magazine.

The smartphone app has still not been marketed, but the developers are planning to do so, quite soon. Once that happens, perhaps the number of myopics in the world could get reduced, at least to some extent.

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