Good news may be on the horizon for people who can’t see clearly but loathe having to wear their glasses. New technology is being developed that has been shown to remove the need to have your specs on while viewing screens.
MIT and University of California, Berkeley, have worked together to develop a screen technology that uses glasses prescriptions and an algorithm to calculate how the image displayed needs to be adapted so as to counteract the imperfect vision of the watcher, and then does it.
In addition to the algorithms, the technology uses acrylic sheets to help focus the images. Currently, these stand in front of the screen, but it is hoped that they will be able to be refined to a point where they can be made into stick on sheets that attach directly to the monitor.
Portability and widespread use are the overall aims of the project. By making the sheets attachable to any display, and by altering the software to run on a variety of operating systems, the technology can spread into the home and workplace.
“We now live in a world where displays are ubiquitous, and being able to interact with displays is taken for granted,” Professor Brian Barsky of University of California is reported saying. The research team want to fix this; they feel that it can become a hindrance for people who have abnormal vision, as screen use is so common and so taken for granted nowadays.
There are some issues with the technology though including the fact that if it is used by multiple people it will cause the screen to become blurry for anyone other than the person whose prescription is in the algorithm. Furthermore, the person viewing has to remain in the same position to get a clear picture.
The widespread need for this technology may be questionable (surely most people who need glasses that badly would require them for a variety of other daily tasks anyway?) but we may see it begin to filter into our lives over the next few years.