Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Smart Glasses Autofocus Based On Eye Movement

Researchers from the University of Stanford have developed a pair of smart glasses that autofocus based on the wearer's eye movement. The glasses are a means of combating presbyopia, a condition where the lenses in the eye lose elasticity thereby reducing their ability to focus on nearby objects. The group's research was recently published in the journal Science Advances


“More than a billion people have presbyopia and we’ve created a pair of autofocal lenses that might one day correct their vision far more effectively than traditional glasses,” says Gordon Wetzstein, director of Stanford University's Computational Imaging Lab. “This technology could affect billions of people’s lives in a meaningful way that most techno-gadgets never will.”


Stanford engineers are testing a pair of smart glasses that can automatically focus on whatever you’re looking at
Stanford engineers are testing a pair of smart glasses that can automatically focus on whatever you’re looking at Credit: Stanford University

From the Stanford University article: "Wetzstein’s prototype glasses – dubbed autofocals – are intended to solve the main problem with today’s progressive lenses: These traditional glasses require the wearer to align their head to focus properly. Imagine driving a car and looking in a side mirror to change lanes. With progressive lenses, there’s little or no peripheral focus. The driver must switch from looking at the road ahead through the top of the glasses, then turn almost 90 degrees to see the nearby mirror through the lower part of the lens.

The Stanford prototype works much like the lens of the eye, with 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 determine the precise distance to the object of interest. The team did not invent these lenses or eye-trackers, but they did develop the software system that harnesses this eye-tracking data to keep the fluid-filled lenses in constant and perfect focus."


Read more about smart glasses that autofocus based on eye movement at Stanford University


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