Feeds

MIT builds seeing machine for the blind

The retina as cinema screen

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A researcher at MIT has developed a working prototype of a machine that will help legally blind people to see, Reuters reports.

The inventor, Senior Fellow Elizabeth Goldring, says that the device will help people to read, to see pictures of friends and study other useful documents, such as the layout of buildings.

The prototype, which MIT says will cost around $4000 to manufacture, plugs into a PC and uses light emitting diodes to project images directly onto the retina.

Traditional sight aids work by projecting a video image onto a pair of goggles or onto a video screen. "The advantage of this kind of display is there's no extraneous stuff in your peripheral vision that gets in the way," Goldring, told the Reuters news agency.

The so-called seeing machine was inspired by a scanning laser ophthalmoscope, a $100,000 medical device used to examine the eye. The technology involved in the ophthalmoscope is too expensive to make a device suitable for personal use, so Goldring and her research team spent a decade working on ways to reduce the cost.

The device is a still a long way from being a Geordi La Forge-style visor. At 12 inches by 6 inches by 6 inches, even the generous would not describe it as wearable, and it couldn't be used to navigate an unfamiliar space. But as long as the user has some living retinal cells, he or she should be able to use the machine to see a clear colour image, such as the layout of a room they plan to visit.

Tests on 10 legally blind volunteers found that most could see images and read words when using the device. Goldring now plans to develop a commercial version. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.