Visually Impaired Woman Works With Physicist to Create Mobile Version of Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope
March 22, 2009
Elizabeth Goldring, a senior fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, is legally blind in one eye and partially blind in the other. During a trip to the optometrist some 20 years ago, Goldring was examined with a Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (SLO). During the test, which uses an infrared laser to shine an image onto the retina, she found she was able to read. Goldring yearned to have one of the machines for everyday use, but at $100,000 per unit, the dream remained just that.
However, as recently reported in Popular Mechanics, Goldring persisted, and working with Robert Webb, a physicist and inventor of the SLO, she has created a mobile version of the device called the Retinal Imaging Machine Vision System. The new device substitutes LEDs for the costly laser to illuminate a screen that focuses visual data from a computer or camera as a full image onto the retina.
The duo’s latest prototype is a nondescript, 5-in.-wide box with a digital camera attached. By manipulating the camera’s zoom, Goldring is able to recognize faces and distinguish objects. Further testing of the device is planned at the Joslin Diabetes Center Eye Institute in Boston.
Read the full article in Popular Mechanics.
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