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Connected Health » Health Gadgets » Turn your smartphone into an eye test for $2

Turn your smartphone into an eye test for $2


Staring at a computer screen for countless hours every day and squinting to read the news on your smartphone (OK, in reality playing Angry Birds…) is probably not doing wonders for your eyesight. Unless you’re already part of the specs crew, chances are you’ll soon enough book yourself in for that all important eye test. But what if you could turn your iPhone into an eye testing device?

The world of mobile health technology is constantly evolving and Ramesh Raskar of the Camera Culture group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has devised a simple method of providing a basic eye test with a simple smartphone add on. NETRA stands for Near-to-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment and consists of a viewer that fits over the smartphone screen which is used with software on the phone.

The phone will display an image – which could be a pair of parallel lines – on the screen, which the NETRA device will convert into a virtual 3D display. The user would then be asked to focus on the image and use the keyboard to adjust the lines until they merge. By doing so the device would reveal the amount of correction the eye requires to focus clearly, which would be translated into dioptres (the number opticians use to determine your eyesight).

NETRA only costs $2 to make, so is a cheap and highly portable way to test one’s eyesight. This development could give people in developing countries access to much-needed vision testing.

Perhaps one more for the medical professionals, we still think it’s really nifty that you can turn your smartphone into an eye-test.

By Elisabeth Edvardsen

Filed under: Health Gadgets · Tags: ,

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