MIT spinout EyeNetra has launched the device Netra, a plastic binocular-like headset that serves as a mobile eye-test. A smartphone is attached on the front of the headset, and the user will see patterns which they are then required to align using a dial and a button to lock it in place. After eight interactions, the app can determine the difference between what the user sees as “aligned” and how the patterns are actually aligned on the screen. Astigmatism and refractive errors can be determined by this, while the app displays the details needed for prescription glasses like axis of astigmatism, pupillary distance, and refractive powers.
The company has shared that they have been courting offers from numerous virtual reality companies to use Netra’s technology in coming up with “vision-corrected” VR displays or custom screens to fit a patient’s eyeglass prescription. Co-founder Ramesh Raskar believes that beyond solving the issues regarding prescription eyeglasses, they want to bring virtual reality to the masses. The idea of prescription screens could provide patients with a more immersive and comfortable experience, and given that the technology is smartphone-based, it could be used in poor and remote regions worldwide.