smartphone-based vision tester

The nice thing about computers is that they’re general purpose devices. The nice thing about smartphones is that they’re increasingly ubiquitous, increasingly cheap, portable general-purpose devices. Just add imagination.

The latest example of smartphone-based ingenuity is a neat little $2 box from MIT which, combined with an Android-based smartphone and their associated application, makes a cheap substitute for far more expensive and bulky optometric equipment.

It’s still far from perfect – as one dissenter notes in the comments

This is going to be a disaster. I am in my second year of Optometry school and I know how bad this is. The reason why is because it ONLY fixes your refraction! It fails to adjust your eye’s accommodation and bilateral fixation…..TRUST ME….you will end up with MORE EXPENSIVE procedures in the future if you rely on this application…

but it’s an excellent example of what cheap, portable computers are making possible.

Also, something I’d have thought was obvious, but since several people evidently miss the point and choose instead to sneer at the idea of “villagers who can’t afford a visit to an optometrist, but can afford a smartphone”: you don’t need every villager to have an Android phone; you just need to fill in the equipment gap for village clinics that can’t afford expensive computerised optometry devices.

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One Response to “smartphone-based vision tester”

  1. SereneCooking Says:

    That’s awesome. It made me think to add the Amsler grid I have to use periodically to my iPad.

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