Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Vision

People with deuteranopia colorblindness struggle to see the green 74 in this image of oran...

It's hard to appreciate the feeling of living with a visual impairment if you haven't experienced it yourself. The edge blurring of glaucoma or the clouded, fogged-up vision of a cataract, or even the confusing hue-challenged sights of a colorblind person may register on an intellectual level with somebody who has normal vision, but few really "get it" because it's too alien to them. SIMVIZ aims to fix that by attaching a wide-angle camera to a virtual reality headset, to filter the world around you according to any of six visual impairments: colorblindness, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, double vision, and macular degeneration.  Read More

Researchers have found that the language that the retina uses to communicate with the brai...

Our eyes extract a lot of information from visible light that enables us to see color, movement, shadows, highlights, shapes, and more, with each component processed separately and sent to the brain in parallel to the others. It was previously thought that the same scene would always be converted into the same pattern of activity. But research by scientists at the University of Tübingen in Germany and the University of Manchester in the UK suggests that the signals differ wildly as the brightness of the environment changes by even small amounts.  Read More

A new method for restoring light response in blind mice and dogs holds promise in reversin...

A new genetic therapy that helped blind mice and dogs respond to light stimulus could restore sight to people who suffer from diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (a gradual loss of vision from periphery inwards). The therapy uses chemicals known as photoswitches, which change shape when hit with light, to open the channels that activate retinal cells. Treated mice can distinguish between steady and flashing light, while dogs with late-stage retinal degeneration also regain some sensitivity to light.  Read More

Damaged or defective retinas may someday be replaced by a nanotube film that transforms li...

A promising new study suggests that a wireless, light-sensitive, and flexible nanotube-semiconductor nanocrystal film could potentially form part of a prosthetic device to replace damaged or defective retinas. The film both absorbs light and stimulates neurons without being connected to any wires or external power sources, standing it apart from silicon-based devices used for the same purpose. It has so far been tested only on light-insensitive retinas from embryonic chicks, but the researchers hope to see the pioneering work soon reach real-world human application.  Read More

An Eyeteq-enhanced digital image

There may soon be help for red-green colorblind TV viewers. University of East Anglia spinoff company Spectral Edge has announced its Eyeteq system, which reportedly "allows color-blind viewers to better differentiate between red and green when watching programs, allowing them to see details they previously could not."  Read More

The cat and mouse Pac-Man-style game found to help treat lazy eye

With video games having previously been found to improve decision making speeds and the brain's capacity to learn, scientists have now created challenging computer games with a fun element that significantly improved depth perception and binocular vision in people with a lazy eye. Unlike the traditional patch used to treat the condition, the video games encourage both eyes to work together.  Read More

SVOne is a portable eye test lab

Is there anything smartphones can't do? Besides have taken over our lives as communication and entertainment hubs, a growing use of the devices is in eye healthcare. Guided by a socially-inclusive ethos, New York-based Smart Vision Labs has created a low-cost, portable iPhone-based gadget to help people in developing countries to diagnose vision problems.  Read More

The implant measures internal optic pressure, excessive amounts of which can lead to loss ...

Currently, people with glaucoma must have their internal optic pressure (the pressure within their eye) regularly checked by a specialist. If that IOP gets too high, then steps need to be taken to lower it, before vision damage can occur. The problem is, the pressure can change quickly, potentially rising to dangerous levels between those checks. A new implant, however, could make it possible for patients to check their own IOP as often as they like, using their smartphone.  Read More

Dr Iain Murray and PhD student Azadeh Nazemi with the digital reading system they develope...

From a contact lens that delivers tactile sensations to the cornea, to a 3D-printed ring that reads text aloud in real-time, advances in technology have opened up some groundbreaking ways for the visually-impaired to consume printed content. Researchers from Australia's Curtin University have now unveiled a low-cost reading device that processes graphical information, enabling the blind to digest documents such as bills, PDFs, graphs and bank statements.  Read More

Researchers at UC Berkeley claim to have created a vision-correcting matrix for display sc...

In an age where reading something from a screen on a phone or a computer is a normal part of our daily lives, the wearing of glasses or contact lenses often makes doing so a chore with eye-strain problems and the necessity to carry around spectacles or lenses wherever you go. In this vein, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have created a prototype vision-correcting, printed pinhole matrix that they claim fits directly to a screen and negates the need for eyeglasses or remedial lenses and may one day offer improved visual acuity to those with eye problems much worse than simple farsightedness.  Read More

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