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adaptiveoptics.org provides news and information for the world-wide adaptive optics community.
Roanoke, Virginia – January 11, 2006:
("Pixel") a Roanoke-based company that is developing electronic eyewear,
announced today that it will receive $3.5 million from the U.S. Defense Department to develop SuperVision,
a technology that enables military personnel to have better than 20/20 vision.
"SuperVision is intended to provide the U.S. military forces with a competitive combat advantage
and reduce the number of friendly fire incidents," said Dr. Ron Blum, President and CEO of Pixel.
"Senator John Warner is to be commended for his leadership in seeking the highest level of
innovation for the safety of the women and men who serve our country," Blum continued.
Dr. Dwight Duston, Pixel's Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Military Programs and program manager for the project, stated: "Certain nonuniformities within the human eye are the cause of most vision deficiencies. Conventional aberrations, such as nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia), can be corrected with normal spectacle lenses to give 20/20 vision. The spatial density of light receptors in the retina, however, is enough to allow human eyes to see better than 20/20, perhaps as well as 20/08.
However, higher-order aberrations in the eye prevent us from attaining this "SuperVision"
(the ability to have optimized vision better than 20/20). These aberrations
(e.g., coma, spherical aberration, trefoil, unconventional astigmatism)
are not correctable with current conventional lenses available today from most eye care professionals.
"Conventional eyeglasses today typically correct one's vision to 20/20. These lenses do so by focusing light properly on the back of one's eye by way of an overall change in curvature and thickness of the eyeglass lens. In most cases, the focus is the same over the entire conventional lens surface. Pixel's lenses dynamically alter the focus in ways not possible before. By adjusting the refractive index of an array of transparent pixels contained within the lens, it is possible to correct for the higher-order aberrations. This optimizes one's vision, in many cases, beyond how one sees today."
Bill Kokonaski, Chief Technology Officer of Pixel, noted: "Higher-order aberrations of the human eye are dynamic, not static. Conventional refractive error such as myopia (nearsighted), hyperopia (farsighted) and regular astigmatism are static. However, higher-order aberrations change depending upon many factors, including the environment. Pixel's patented technology allows for a dynamic solution to a dynamic problem. The technology uses sensors and electro-active transparent material to alter the index of refraction of the lens dynamically. This provides for the ability to alter the eyeglass correction in real time depending upon the individual's environment. It should be pointed out that Pixel's solution for SuperVision will not only help military personnel who need eyeglasses but also many of those who currently do not wear or need eyeglasses to potentially see better than 20/20."
It is estimated today that 170 million Americans wear corrective eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. Further, that out of the total U.S. population of about 300 million, it is estimated that approximately 50 percent could see better if their vision was optimized by correcting their higher-order aberrations.
"In the late '80s, scientists and researchers realized that an individual's vision could, in many cases, be corrected to better than 20/20 vision," said Blum. "However, it took many years before diagnostic technology could actually measure the aberrations of the human eye accurately. Only within the last three to five years are there corrective solutions available to take those measurements and provide the needed optical correction. Today, all such solutions are static, and while they represent a major step forward, the ultimate solution to correcting higher-order aberrations, and thus achieving optimized vision better than 20/20 (SuperVision), needs to be a dynamic one. Pixel's technology allows for such a solution. As you would expect, we are very happy to have been selected to develop SuperVision for the U.S. military. Once developed, Pixel's dynamic solution will give our military personnel another competitive advantage and also help reduce friendly fire incidents. We are most pleased to be involved with such a worthy effort."
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