Research ArticleENGINEERING

Autofocals: Evaluating gaze-contingent eyeglasses for presbyopes

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Science Advances  28 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaav6187
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav6187


As humans age, they gradually lose the ability to accommodate, or refocus, to near distances because of the stiffening of the crystalline lens. This condition, known as presbyopia, affects nearly 20% of people worldwide. We design and build a new presbyopia correction, autofocals, to externally mimic the natural accommodation response, combining eye tracker and depth sensor data to automatically drive focus-tunable lenses. We evaluated 19 users on visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and a refocusing task. Autofocals exhibit better visual acuity when compared to monovision and progressive lenses while maintaining similar contrast sensitivity. On the refocusing task, autofocals are faster and, compared to progressives, also significantly more accurate. In a separate study, a majority of 23 of 37 users ranked autofocals as the best correction in terms of ease of refocusing. Our work demonstrates the superiority of autofocals over current forms of presbyopia correction and could affect the lives of millions.

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