Stanford’s ‘Smart Glasses’ Track Your Eyes to Stay Focused

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first_img Sony Patents Prescription VR GlassesGeek Pick: Gunnar Haus Computer Glasses Are High-Tech Eye Safety Stanford researchers developed smart glasses that track your eyes to focus on what you see.Far from the high-tech Google Glass, these “autofocals” are designed to restore proper vision in people who would otherwise need progressive lenses.“More than a billion people have presbyopia”—a vision defect that causes our eyes to lose elasticity needed to focus on nearby objects, according to Gordon Wetzstein.“We’ve created a pair of autofocal lenses that might one day correct their vision far more effectively than traditional glasses,” the Stanford electrical engineer said in a statement.Autofocals use information from each eye’s gaze to dynamically update the focus to near or far (via Nitish Padmanaban/Stanford University)His prototype—which looks like a bulky pair of VR goggles—aims to solve the biggest problem with traditional multifocal lenses: little to no peripheral focus.Imagine driving a car and looking in the side mirror to change lanes: A motorist wearing varifocal lenses must switch from looking at the road ahead through the top of their glasses and turn almost 90 degrees to see the mirror through the lower part of the lens.“People wearing progressive lenses have a higher risk of falling and injuring themselves,” study co-author Robert Konrad, a graduate student at Stanford University, explained.In contrast, Stanford’s prototype uses fluid-filled lenses that bulge and thin as the field of vision changes; it also includes eye-tracking sensors that triangulate where a person is looking and determines the precise distance of the object of interest.Stanford engineers are testing a pair of smart glasses that can automaticallyfocus on whatever you’re looking at (via Robert Konrad/Stanford University)As visualized in these images, when the pair of eyes look left, the planted koala becomes clear (above); look right, and the boomerang-clinging bear comes into focus (below).Stanford engineers are testing a pair of smart glasses that can automaticallyfocus on whatever you’re looking at (via Robert Konrad/Stanford University)And while Wetzstein & Co. did not invent the lenses or eye-trackers, they did develop the software system that harnesses eye-tracking data to keep the fluid-filled lenses in constant and perfect focus.The team tested their prototype on 56 people with presbyopia, all of whom said the autofocus lenses performed better and faster at reading and other tasks.Moving forward, researchers hope to streamline their technology, taking the specs from bulky headgear to lightweight frames. Preferably something energy-efficient and stylish, Wetzstein said.“This technology could affect billions of people’s lives in a meaningful way that most techno-gadgets never will,” he added.A paper describing the autofocal glasses was published last week in the journal Science Advances.More on Geek.com:These $1,000 AR Smart Glasses Are Compatible With AlexaToshiba DynaEdge Smart Glasses Fit a Monitor in a MonocleLess Is More For Intel Vaunt Smart Glasses Stay on targetlast_img

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