Navigation Links
Telescope Embedded in Spectacle Lens Promises to Make Driving Easier for Visually Impaired

BOSTON, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Glasses embedded with a telescope promise to make it easier for people with impaired vision to drive and do other activities requiring sharper distance vision. Schepens Eye Research Institute scientists describe the advantages of these innovative glasses over earlier devices in an article published in the May/June issue of Journal of Biomedical Optics, mailed to subscribers in print form this month.

"This new design has several advantages," says the inventor of the glasses, Dr. Eli Peli, who is a senior scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute, a professor at Harvard Medical School, a low vision expert, and the senior author of the paper. "One major advantage is the appearance of the glasses. Because they look almost like normal everyday spectacles, it is more likely that visually impaired people will use them," says Peli, who adds that the glasses are easier to use than existing telescope models because of a wider magnified view and easier access to that view. Most importantly, shifting the magnified view up leaves the unmagnified view of the road unobstructed, which is important for safety and facilitates navigation.

Tiny telescopes (known as Biotics) mounted on glasses to help people with visual impairments have been in existence for about 60 years. They are permitted for use in driving by 39 states. These telescopes enable a visually impaired driver to read road signs and see other objects essential for safe driving, while also viewing the larger scene in front of the vehicle. In previous designs, the telescope is mounted through the top of the regular lens or above the frame. In both cases, the telescopic eyepiece is above the wearer's pupil, requiring the driver to tilt his/her head up and down rapidly to view alternatively the magnified and unmagnified scenes. Drivers use the telescope only for a very small fraction of the driving time, looking through the regular spectacle lens most of the time.

While these bioptic telescopes are useful and helpful, many potential users have resisted them because of their strange appearance, and because the magnified view through the telescope is narrow.

In the newer glasses, Peli and his co-inventor Dr. Vargas-Martin from the University of Murcia, Spain, designed a wide-field telescope made of straight and curved mirrors built completely within the spectacle lens,

The Journal of Biomedical Optics article describes the process that Peli and his team went through as they created and tested various prototypes of telescopes leading to the design that would be most effective and comfortable for patients with low vision. They started with a telescope made with mirrors and lenses to prove the image shifting principle. To embed the whole telescope inside the spectacle lens they had to obtain the magnifying power from curved mirrors instead of lenses, as mirrors maintain their power when embedded inside the spectacle lens, while the lenses lose their power when not in the air. Regular spherical mirrors can not be tilted without loss of focus, so they constructed a version made with tilted parabolic mirrors. The latter worked well and was in focus, but the images were distorted enough due to the parabolic shape to cause a disturbing effect during head movements. The latest design they constructed is based on spherical and flat mirrors with the flat mirrors implemented as tilted beam splitters that use polarization to reduce light loss.

Says Peli, "The short height of the actual magnifier, its position, and inclusion of a small tilt of the last flat mirror (the one closest to the user's eye), enables the wearer to simultaneously view the magnified field above the unmagnified view of the uninterrupted horizontal field.

Not only will the new glasses improve the cosmetics and usefulness of this type of device, the in-the-lens design will make it possible to mass-produce the telescopic magnifier as a standard spectacle lens blank and allow an individual's prescription to be added using the standard procedure for grinding regular spectacle lenses. This process should also reduce the price of bioptic telescopes.

The next step for the team is to find a corporate partner to manufacture the lens blanks and distribute them to the public.

As the population ages and millions of American face limited vision because of eye disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration, the need for this type of vision aid will increase dramatically. The telescopic glasses may also find use in other markets. It may be used as hands-free opera glasses and may be of interest to hunters, police or military personnel who would like the ability to quickly and easily achieve a hands-free magnified view.

To view a photo of the glasses and a comparison of the views from new and old versions, go to

Schepens Eye Research Institute is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and the largest independent eye research institute in the country.

SOURCE Schepens Eye Research Institute
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. James Webb Space Telescope marks successful completion
2. Amazing minaturized SIDECAR drives Webb telescopes signal
3. SkyeTek to Present Webinar on Transforming the Management of Medical Devices & Supplies with Embedded RFID
4. Nano-sized electronic circuit promises bright view of early universe
5. Emergence of Cancer Vaccines Will Be the Key Factor Driving the Pancreatic Cancer Drug Market to More Than Double by 2016
6. Contract Services for Big Pharma and Biotechs Driving Growth and Innovation from Discovery to Clinical Trials
7. Actress and Mom Lori Loughlin Raises Awareness About the Potential Dangers of Drowsy Driving During Allergy Season
8. Medco CEO to Shareholders: Delivering Results, Driving Shareholder Value
9. Decision Biomarkers Launches System for Faster, Easier Quantification of Protein Biomarkers
10. Safer, easier system for remote explosive detection
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product ... (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach ... in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% during the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ... will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share ... "Series B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed ... 23, 2015, which will result in the issuance ... to the issuance of such shares, there will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier of easy-to-use solutions for ... Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. , Having joined InSphero in ... and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in 2014. There she ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it ... Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 ... able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... learn how iMedNet has been able to deliver ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., ... U.S. distribution of its DNA library preparation products, ... Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has ... preparation of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis ... and prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):