Researchers at MIT have developed an application that produces results comparable to standard tests performed by optometrists. The patient looks into a lens and uses arrow keys on the phone to make sets of green and red parallel lines overlap. The phone then changes the angle of the lines, asking the user to the same test again. After performing the task eight times with each eye, a process that takes about two minutes, the application processes the results and spits out prescription data.
"Our device has the potential to make routine refractive eye exams simpler and cheaper, and, therefore, more accessible to millions of people in developing countries," MIT News quotes Professor Manuel Oliveir as saying.
A colleague of his, postdoctoral research associate Ankit Mohan, explains that though there have been other replacements for the standard systems for determining prescriptions, the key to this new method is that it doesn't involve any moving parts.
Apart from the software to run on the phone, all that's needed is the snap-on plastic device, which Mohan says can be produced at a cost of about $1 to $2 today but could cost only a few cents in large quantities.
Check out the video below to get a look at the technology for yourself.