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Billions each day interact with electronic displays, and a large proportion of those people have less than perfect vision — but new research from the University of California, Berkeley may soon mean that it's your phone that will wear the glasses, not you. It's not quite a pair of spectacles stuck to your phone, but the idea is similar: By bending the path of light very carefully, you correct for imperfections in the eye's own structure. This can be done with lenses right in front of the eye, sure, but why not do it at the source so a clear image is visible with the naked eye?
The project, led by Berkeley professor and Brian Barsky and former graduate student Fu-Chung Huang, applies careful modifications to the original image — a movie, game or desktop — and shows it through a layer of microlenses (this video gets more technical). With just the filtering or the lenses, the image would be distorted or blurry, but the two work together to make an image corrected specifically for a given type of vision problem, like farsightedness. The prototypes are promising, but don't expect them on the next iPad.
— Devin Coldewey, NBC News