Digital glasses: Smart computational displays for digital eyesight correction
Vision is fundamental to being able to perform a range of daily tasks and activities for example reading, grasping objects, driving, walking in the street, avoiding hazards or even just recognising and interacting with people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 1.3 billion people in the world who live with some form of vision impairment, with the majority of sufferers over the age of 50 years.
Among the different conditions, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries . The prevalence of visual impairments is rapidly increasing as today’s ageing population becomes more likely to be affected by age-related visual disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetes, glaucoma and retinal detachment.
This creates some important societal and economic challenges due to the reduced quality of life for the sufferers and the impact on health services and carers. Traditional glasses are routinely used to correct refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia). However, there is currently no treatment for other forms of visual impairments such as distorted vision (metamorphopsia). Yet, such visual impairments affect a large number of people as they are for example associated with AMD, a very common condition.
By leveraging recent advances in computer vision, virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), this project aims to develop a new type of technology that will enable digital correction of visual impairments that cannot currently be corrected using conventional optics (glasses or contact lenses).
The developed technology can be thought of as “digital glasses” or “smart glasses” in the sense that it will use image processing and AI in combination with consumer hardware (head mounted display) to automatically correct and tailor content to the visual acuity of the user. This will considerably improve their ability to see and therefore has potential to have a transformative impact for a large of people.
 Wong, W. L., Su, X., Li, X., Cheung, C. M. G., Klein, R., Cheng, C.-Y., Wong, T. Y. (2014). Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis, The Lancet Global Health, Volume 2, Issue 2.
The project is full-time, funded by the University of Surrey and starts on September 2019 for three years.
Get in contact
If you're interested in finding out more about this project then please email Ye Ling.