After the huge growth in popularity of smartphones over the past few years we’ve seen the development of some amazing applications; from the astoundingly addictive Angry Birds to unbelievably accurate heart rate monitors all in the palm of your hand.
Even our peepers have been given their fair share of attention, and the market is now awash with apps providing optical illusions, eye charts and even some proven to improve the health of our optics!
Eye Test App
Recently though, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced their ongoing development of an accurate eye testing app designed to work on the average smartphone.
How does it work?
The app combines an array of pinholes with a simple series of lines and dots displayed on the screen of the phone to test the eye’s ability to focus at different depths. The patient looks through a lens provided with the technology and is asked to align the images they see before the software calculates the results and reads out a prescription to be taken to an optician.
There are currently two technologies in place to perform eye tests; one which has the patient read an eye chart through varying strengths of lenses to determine performance, and another which shines a laser directly into the eye to analyse its characteristics.
As a consequence of this, both systems are expensive and require a large amount of technology to perform, and this goes a long way towards explaining why underprivileged parts of the world suffer so greatly in this area. As well as this, even when performed these conventional eye tests can generally only make a rough measurement of which eye is stronger and by how much.
Because the app has no moving parts and relies only on the intelligence in the software itself, it is able to make eye tests simpler, quicker (the test takes only 2 minutes) and thereby more accessible to those in developing nations.
What’s more, the results can be more accurate. Developers describe the app as a ‘thermometer for the eye’ – it can gauge to a close degree the requirements of each eye and analyse intimately their qualities and where they suffer.
When will we see the app?
At the moment, it’s unclear whether we’ll see it at all or whether it will be available only to professionals with the goal of making eye tests more readily available around the world, but it certainly marks an impressive development and proves once more the invaluable nature of smartphones in a modern world.
The Eye Test App How and Why Video
Like this post? Please share with your friends and colleagues too..