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Test your vision using a cell phone

A team of researchers at MIT has developed a prototype eye test that could revolutionize eye care in underdeveloped nations. While the eye test won't do away with the need for eye doctors, it will make it easier for people to get the proper prescription from agencies which offer donated glasses. This new test is called the Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment (NETRA for short). The person will look through an eyepiece at two lines on the cellphone screen. One line is red and the other one is green. If these lines are aligned, then the person's vision is fine. If, however, the lines are not aligned, the person click's on the phone's arrow buttons until the red and the green line come together. This is repeated with the lines at different angles and the number of times the person has to click determines how their eyes focus the best. The software within the cellphone then deciphers the results into what corrective lenses the person needs. While further testing is slated for this fall, it is hoped that the test will go to market in six months. Researchers are excited about the possibility of transforming the lives of those in underdeveloped nations and making eye care more accessible to them. Andrea Schumann Staff Writer

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