Goggles restore depth perception to people blind in one eye
Being able to see with both eyes comes with a perk: the ability to judge distance in 3D. Say, between a plate of food on the table and the saltshaker, or the space between the front of your car and the bumper of the vehicle ahead of you.
People who’ve lost sight in one eye can still see with the other, but they lack binocular depth perception. Some of them could benefit from a pair of augmented reality glasses being built at the University of Yamanashi in Japan, that artificially introduces a feeling of depth in a person’s healthy eye.
The group, led by Xiaoyang Mao, started out with a pair of commercially available 3D glasses, the Wrap 920AR. It looks like a pair of regular tinted glasses, but with small cameras poking out of each lens. The lenses are transparent and the device both captures and projects images.
The group at Yamanashi have created software that makes use of the twin cameras. When a person puts the glasses on, each camera scopes out the scene that each eye would see. The images are funneled into software on a computer, which combines the perspective of both cameras and creates a “defocus” effect. That is, some objects to stay in focus while others stay out of focus, resulting in a feeling of depth. That version of the scene in front of them is projected to the single healthy eye of the wearer.
Read more about the glasses here.