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Vision


— Good Thinking

SIMVIZ simulates visual impairments with see-through VR display

By - December 22, 2014 5 Pictures
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
— Science

Study finds that retina "language" changes with brightness

By - December 11, 2014 1 Picture
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
— Medical

Photoswitch therapy restores vision to blind lab animals

By - December 9, 2014 3 Pictures
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
— Medical

Nanotube film could replace defective retinas

By - December 4, 2014 2 Pictures
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

Eyeteq is claimed to improve TV viewing for the colorblind

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
— Health and Wellbeing

Video games replace eye patch to treat lazy eye

By - November 24, 2014 1 Picture
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
— Medical

Eye pressure-monitoring implant could save glaucoma patients from blindness

By - August 27, 2014 2 Pictures
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
— Good Thinking

Low-cost reading system enables visually impaired to hear graphical content

By - July 31, 2014 1 Picture
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
— Computers

Vision-correcting display lets users ditch their reading glasses

By - July 30, 2014 5 Pictures
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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