NETRA offers a simple, quick and inexpensive way to use mobile phones to measure refractive errors of the eye (Photo Credit, Andy Ryan)
Until now, an eye test has meant a trip to the optometrist for most people. NETRA, from MIT's Media Lab, is set to change that. Combined with a modern mobile phone, the US$2 device allows eye glass prescriptions to be produced simply and quickly in any location. Preliminary testing has shown that it can achieve results comparable to the standard aberrometer test and clinical trials are due to begin shortly. Initially targeting parts of Africa and Asia, the company responsible for manufacture, PerfectSight, is expecting the product to be a boon for the developing world, where the sophisticated equipment currently required for eyesight tests has been cost prohibitive.