MIT Keeps On Innovating, Develops Optometry App For Android To Prescribe Glasses


For someone like me who hates being charged $50 to look through a refractor for 15 seconds, this will come in quite handy. I suppose if you’ve already been prescribed it’s rather useless, but for those in developing countries where proper optometry equipment comes at a very hefty premium, MIT’s latest project could be a nice, cheap addition to your poor, vision-improving practice.


They’ve developed an app that allows the user to manipulate a set of lines and dots while looking through a $2 “eye” that was made from the parts and technology of a holographic barcode scanning device. Simply continue to adjust the image until everything comes into perfect focus, and BAM! You’re given a prescription and sent along your merry way to your favorite eye store. Pretty cool, and I wouldn’t mind having one of these for my own personal use.

[via Engadget]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Google My Tracks Will Provide Real-Time Tour de France Data

Previous article

Motorola Droid X Review

Next article

You may also like


  1. I’m waiting for the lasik app

  2. I want one

  3. Now that’s pretty slick.

  4. I’m sold…now where do I buy one?

  5. Wow, I really like that, I’ll take one!

  6. pretty sweet. Maybe I will start a mobile practice. :)

  7. Many people have astigmatism. Can it measure that? And the angle? Close to useless unless you’re just getting reading glasses, or if you do not have access to a decent eye exam.

  8. my thoughts exactly john^ ^

  9. @John for contacts that does not matter unless your astigmatism is so bad you need toric lenses. Glasses are outdated tech not fit for an android user :)

  10. even with the print out of the ‘Rx’, you still need to have a valid spectacle/contact lens Rx prescribed/signed by a doctor in order for it to be filled. so yes unless it’ll help one determine a tentative reading eyeglass Rx that you can by at a drugstore etc. it’s pretty much a novelty

  11. No, this app would certainly calculate astigmatism. I am sure it would give you power, cylinder, and axis which is pretty much all you need for rx glasses, not just readers.

    And I would say this is extremely useful for poor nations. Those countries don’t worry about Dr’s rx so much.

  12. Hahaha the people who are saying, “This is dumb,” are obviously optometrists (who are only surpassed by dentists in their overpricing).

  13. Anyone else think that if this ever does make it to market it’ll cost upwards of $20 for someone to get it for themselves? XD

  14. I work at an optometrist’s office, and I have to say that I would not recommend this in lieu of a normal exam, because this device will not allow you to take nearly as accurate readings as an autorefractor or a trained professional. Also, we do check for conditions such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. So either way, you need to see the doctor for a real exam. And its against the law (here at least) for us to make glasses/contacts without a signed rx by a doctor of optometry or opthalmology. Still, awesome technology. Typical of technology to be one step ahead of the law. :D

  15. Wow, go MIT, now if only the free market of USA would let its citizens purchase contacts without doctor prescriptions then we would be all set.

    Guess it isn’t a free market after all.

  16. What most people dont realize is that “Vision” is not only the shape or refractive error of the eye but also what the brain does with the information. Computers have long been able to detect the refractive error. Just like this device. But rarely is the final prescription exactly the same has the device’s reading. Modifications to the final Rx that condider what the mind is doing, will almost always give better final results.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Apps