New technology could help farsighted computer users see without glasses

UC Berkley professor Brian Barsky's experiments could solve a common modern problem. He's developing software designed to help anyone who has to wear glasses every time they look at a computer or smartphone.

"Could we, somehow, undo those vision problems and put on the same screen an image that if that viewer would look at it, it would seem to be sharp," asked Barsky.

In a demonstration, an iPod showing an "E" is blurry by design. The image is calculated and displayed in such a way that once it reaches a farsighted eye, it looks perfectly in focus. The effect is not achieved with a special screen or attachment to the monitor, but through software which manipulates the image to counteract a person's specific vision problems.

"Essentially what we're doing is altering the light that comes out of each pixel in a very carefully controlled fashion," Barsky told CBS San Francisco.

Commonly known as farsightedness, hyperopia affects nearly 10 percent of Americans, according to the National Eye Institute. Barsky's solution could also someday provide help for people with even more serious vision problems.

"The part that I'm most passionate about is not the convenience for the billions of people who have eyeglasses, but for the millions who have problems with their eyes that are not correctable by eyeglasses," explained Barsky.

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