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RVR Glasses

  [vote for,

I have an ugly feeling that this is baked or obvious or well- known, but didn't find anything after an intensive 20- second session with Google.

There are various ideas, here and in the Real World, for spectacles with variable focus, to accommodate us prematurely aged sods whose eyes have decided that having a single depth of focus is good enough, and have stopped accommodating.

Bifocals and varifocals partially solve the problem (but badly). Other proposals (implemented and not) allow the focal length of the glasses to be adjusted, but this is tedious to have to do. Pinhole glasses sort of work in theory (giving an infinite depth of field), but are like looking at the world through (strangely enough) pinholes.


Display technology is fast improving, and it cannot be beyond the wit of man to make VR glasses which have a resolution at least as good as the human eye - that is to say, the image would appear as pixel-free as a good HD television.

Now, mount two teensy weensy cameras on these glasses, looking outward. These cameras need also to have multi- megapixel resolution. They can also have pinhole lenses, giving good depth of field. The cameras are connected to the screens and - Gadulka - you have a pair of eyeglasses which will give effortless focus at any distance.

As a bonus, such glasses could enable you to see in much dimmer light than normal, and could also magnify beyond what is normally possible with glasses. Contrast enhancement, colour enhancement, extended colour gamut, freeze-frame...the possibilities are unlimitless.

Of course, nobody wants to look at someone whose eyes they cannot see, so each lens would actually have two screens, one facing inward and one outward. The outward-facing screen would project an image of the wearer's eye (filmed, of course, by another tiny inward- looking camera), and could even perform special effects on cue, such as the momentary transformation of the pupils into dollar signs, or Feldmanesque eye-bulging, at comedically appropriate moments.

MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 25 2011

http://www.eyecatar...icial-eye-lens.html [hippo, Aug 26 2011]

http://www.rezoomiol.com/ [hippo, Aug 26 2011]

Eyeborg http://techcrunch.c...eless-video-camera/
[theircompetitor, Aug 27 2011]

as long as it doesn't look like this http://www.geekolog...ight-vision-gog.php
[jaksplat, Aug 28 2011]


       // then you might create a hyper-reality where virtually everything is in focus.// See antepenultimate paragraph.   

       //would there be any changes in the size of the spot on your retina with the highest resolution, because the size of the field of view that is in focus is now much larger?//   

       I think that the size of the fovea (the high-res part of the retina) is limited more by the brain's processing power; my understanding is that the image is pretty well focussed over most of the retina already, if you have good eyesight.   

       (The whole vision thing is interesting, because what you 'see' is not much like what the eye 'sees'; what you see is the model that your brain makes, based on crappy retinal information plus swift deduction.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 25 2011

       Won't these cameras need lenses that either 1) autofocus or 2) have infinite depth of field? And, if so, why not omit the CCD and just use the lens?   

       Answer: suppose the CCD has much better low- light-level performance than a human eye. In that case, the lens can be a pinhole.   

       Something like this will certainly be baked, some time soon, but the people who do it will probably not be smart enough to incorporate the idea in the last paragraph. For which, [+]
mouseposture, Aug 25 2011

       //suppose the CCD has much better low- light-level performance than a human eye. In that case, the lens can be a pinhole.//   

       Or, as my steamed colleague [MaxwellBuchanan] put it:   

       //They can also have pinhole lenses, giving good depth of field.//
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 25 2011

       (+) I've got your slogan; Yes, you can see for RVR.   

       //(The whole vision thing is interesting, because what you 'see' is not much like what the eye 'sees'; what you see is the model that your brain makes, based on crappy retinal information plus swift deduction.)//   

       This is not true of everyone. Some of us have lost, or have never had, whatever filter the mind uses to smoothe over the crappy retinal information.   

       It makes things... interestingly surreal.   

       That's interesting, [2fries]. Do you mean it literally? Sorry to be nosey, but it's interesting. Vision generally goes through all sorts of processing, from filling in simple information that isn't there (so that you think you can see a full field of view, even though most of it is hopelessly low-res) right through to fairly high-level interpretation; and all this is before you even "see" things. What do you see?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 25 2011

       I don't find your question nosey, hope you have a few minutes.   

       Well, for starters everything I've ever seen looks like tv static. Billions upon billions of tiny dots in every color of the rainbow popping into and out of reality faster than I can follow. This lets me diferentiate between the sublest hues with near perfact accuracy because color is a literally number thing for me.   

       When my gaze changes from one image to another I see the previous image/s overlapping whatever I am looking at now. Anyone developing this palinopsia later in life can't stand it. I don't know any different so I use the fact that I can still see what I am no longer looking at to my advantage, and it has saved my neck a few times now.   

       Any moving object I see leaves a tracer behind it. The faster the object, the longer the tracer behind it. Used in conjunction with the palinopsia it lets me keep a running tab of everything around me and the speeds of objects relative to one another. When my gaze is fixed on one image for any length of time then the micro movements of my eyes make objects and people appear to have an aura.   

       I see the blood flow and veins in my eyes. It's called a Purkinje tree and most folks can see this aspect of their own eyes when the optometrist shines a bright light into them at a certain angle. Looking at a clear blue sky is similar to seeing shooting stars from hyperventilating, (I've learned that this is supposedly the movements of my own white blood cells). When I hyperventilate these tiny looping dots of light break away from their sqiggly paths and shoot across the periphery of my vision.
In dark conditions it looks blobby or rippley so dark print is colored and seems to move on a rainbowy background when I read.

       All bright lights and reflections of sunlight have a spiky halo around them that is irridescent at the outer edges of each spike. They appear to spin if I am moving.   

       Basically I see as though I am on an halucinogen twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, or I'm having a constant migraine headache without pain.
It was loads of fun learning to read as a kid while being called a liar. I think that may have been the start of this stack of shoulder chips I've hoarded over the years. (m'workin on it)

       It's... kind of rare, and took me over forty years to find other people that see the way I do. These folks have had every medical test known to man done and nothing wrong can be found with todays tests. I honestly don't think they ever will. I see the same as everyone else... just more is all.   

       To begin seeing this way later in life can be debillitating because of the sensory overload. In many cases people can no longer drive and the anxiety from having no answers from doctors cause many to downward spiral into depression and hypochondria.   

       Because I grew up this way all of these things have become abillities for me.
I'm trying to do my part by letting these other people know how it is for me and that they do not have to let it crush them, but it's a bit like walking into a cancer ward and going off about how much you love your chemotherapy. Took a while to convince them that I'm not just another troll.

       I always knew I was a bit of a freak, but to find out that even amongst my fellow freaks... I'm the freak, was a bit hard to take.   

       Wow, that was long, if you are truly interested, do a search for visual snow or visual static.   

       ...oh yeah, and floaters just to spice things up a little.   

       [2fries] Wow! Well, in an objective way, I'd say that was interesting. I googled 'palinopsia' on Wikipedia. I wonder whether, if you were to look at an image of Michael Palin, you'd have palinopalinopsia. The reason it's all so interesting (to me, at least) is that it sounds as if what you see is closer to what the eye itself sees, without the patching-up which is done by the brain to make everything look nice.   

       [NT] I'm not sure, and I guess that peripheral images may be less well focussed (since lousy lenses tend to abberate most at the edges). But I think it's primarily a question of receptor density, and probably processing at higher levels to match it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2011

       [bigs] Yes, I appreciate that pinholes have limited light-collecting abilities. On the other hand, we can now make light sensors which are much more sensitive than the human rod and cone cells (or, to be precise, have a better signal-to-noise ratio) - contrary to the statement at the end of your first paragraph.   

       In the evolution of the eye, the lens evolved to be able to focus the image from a large enough aperture to give a bright enough image. The accommodating system of the eye then evolved to correct for the limited depth of field of a wide- aperture lens.   

       If nature had had a more sensitive retina at its disposal, then our pupils would be smaller, we'd have more depth of field (regardless of accommodation), and aberrations of the lens would have less impact. (This is why focussing problems are better in bright light - the pupil constricts and acts, to a limited extent, as a pinhole with increased depth of field.)   

       You say that I'm swapping one retina for another - not so. I'm simply adding an artificial layer between the world and the retina. That artificial layer is designed to overcome the depth-of-field issue, which is not a problem for someone with good eyesight, but is a problem for most people over 40, and many people under 40.   

       I'm not wedded to the idea of a simple pinhole lens (in fact, a pure pinhole would probably suffer from diffraction limits before it become too small to admit enough light). However, the greater sensitivity of sensors means that you can use a very small-aperture lens which (as mentioned above) has pinholeish properties insofar as it has a very great depth of field.   

       In fact, if you've watched some of the more recent wildlife programs (especially David Attenborough on insects), you've already seen something similar to what I'm talking about: a camera which can keep an insect in focus one inch away, but which also keeps the presenter, several metres away, in equally perfect focus.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2011

       // the possibilities are unlimitless //   

RayfordSteele, Aug 26 2011

       Well, you said that CCDs were "no where near as sensitive", but I see what you mean.   

       As for issues of integration and biocompatibility - you're missing what I'm getting at, probably because I'm explaining it badly.   

       If this system worked (technologically), then what you see in front of you would simply be a perfectly focussed scene, 1:1 with the "real" world. Your brain (which is what does the real seeing) is still free to do all of its processing.   

       The only reasonable arguments against this scheme would be:   

       (a) technological - if the camera/screen system had a lower resolution than the eye (strictly, the fovea), or had inferior luminance or spectral sensitivity. I don't believe these are in any way insurmountable problems.   

       (b) psychological - it might be distracting to see foreground objects in sharp focus while concentrating on a background object. I'm honestly not sure whether this would be a problem or not - I suspect that in most cases it wouldn't. However, if you wanted to avoid it, the camera could have limited DofF and use autofocus, sure.   

       The key point is the interposition of a camera/screen between the world and the eye, to achieve what [currently non-available] autofocus glasses do, and more.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2011

       //Go research how big/expensive that lens was//   

       Go research how big/expensive video cameras were a few decades ago. The early TV cameras were almost the size of bulldozers. My phone now has a colour version with higher resolution.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2011

       Wondering what effects having your eyes focus on an image a few mm in front of them would have after awhile...
RayfordSteele, Aug 26 2011

       [bigs], the point about my phone camera was that it more advanced than the TV cameras of a few decades ago, and less than one ten-thousandth the weight and cost.   

       As for the point about low-light effects, and the mapping of one pixel to many rods - they are red herrings. I am not demanding that this system give you better-than-human night vision. I also made it clear that the camera and display have to have better resolution than the retina (which is tantamount* to saying that there has to be more than one pixel per rod/cone; this is a challenge, because the baseline standard has to be the fovea). I really don't believe that this is impossible, or that it will not be possible within the next few years.   

       To say that the brain will distinguish (significantly and adversely) between photons reaching it from the "real" world and similar photons reaching it from a screen of suitable properties is non- sensical. I am not saying a good enough camera or screen exist at present, but I do not believe it is unreasonable to expect them to do so.   

       If you are blessed with good eyesight, then fine. I am not. I am deeply impressed with the ability of the brain to process and analyse images, but I am not at all impressed at the qualities of my eyes' own lenses, which is what I am trying to address here.   

       //what effects having your eyes focus on an image a few mm in front of them would have// That is a fair point. VR glasses and "personal cinema" glasses have lenses that compensate, so that your eyes relax to a distant focus while keeping the image in focus. I expect that RVR glasses would make your accomadatory system lazy and quite possibly weaken it. However, since I have effectively no functioning focal accommodation, I could care less.   

       [*tantamount is one of my favourite words.]
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2011

       The problem which was the spur to this idea, presbyopia, is something that affects me too. I was talking to my aunt about this recently and she said that she's just had lens replacement surgery because she couldn't see through her cataracts, and that the new artificial lenses they put in now are multifocus - i.e. they can be focussed by the eye muscles. What this means is that after wearing glasses for half her life and then getting progressively worse eyesight due to cataracts, she now has the perfect eyesight and focussing powers of a child. Quite amazing - I couldn't find out much about it, but the link I think describes these kind of lenses.
hippo, Aug 26 2011

       From the link, and others, I got the impression that they are "multifocal" in a similar way to multifocal glasses (ie, they have zones of differing, but fixed, power). I'm not sure if they accommodate in the same way as the natural lens does, by being pulled by the ciliary muscles - would be great if they did.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2011

       I've mulled as much as I want to, and I still think you've missed the point, but hey, could be me.   

       For you, [bigs] we're developing a special version: no cameras, no screen, just a really cool looking frame offering an F0.2 aperture and a x1 magnification, using the latest "air lens" technology.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2011

       // after an intensive 20- second session with Google //   

       Don't be so hard on yourself. That's about 17 seconds longer than I typically spend presearching an idea.
Alterother, Aug 26 2011

       We're still waiting for the version with the red laser pointer ...
8th of 7, Aug 27 2011

       Close, but no cigar.   

       Yes, true, both lasers and cats are involved, and we consider it entertaining.   

       The cats probably don't, but by then, of course, it's too late for them.
8th of 7, Aug 27 2011

       Check out XsarenkaX 's migraine aura / MaxwellBuchanan's RVR Glasses. There might be a useful link. Part way down there is the line //if I didn't hurt so much people would pay to see it.//   

       the human eye brain system is incredibly adaptive. I was once the subject of a summer school experiment, involving prismatic goggles. They switched the world so that left became right and right became left. After just 20 minets I was able to move around as normal and play a simple game of catch. The reason for this was to impress upon us just how plastic the eye brain system is. And the reason why it has to be so.   

       So it aught to be possible to have a sorts of add-on 's without causing the user any serious problems, high contrast, 2 x magnification, false colour, etc.   

       imagine if 2 fries friends see a positive after image of movement, and you program your glasses to project a negative after image of the same movement, what would be the effect? I suspect that even though the chances of the two after images cancelling out mathematically is very remote that the eye brain system may well be able to do so.
j paul, Aug 28 2011

       The after images are very hard to describe [j paul]. For me at least, they are both positive and negative but become more defined as one or the other depending upon the background which they are viewed. For instance if I glanced at your face and then at something bright like the daytime sky then the after image would look like a photographic negative. Against something dark it would appear positive.   

       I don't think that cancelling an after image with its opposite will have any effect but it's a nice thought.   

       Interesting. [2fries]'s visual thing sounds like some fairly high-level anomaly, so I agree it might be difficult to "null out". But, with RVR glasses and some nifty software, you might be able to home in on a nulling algorithm.   

       <rambling aside because it's late> the whole visual system is fascinating. What I find most amazing is that things like "edges", "colour", "shape", "brightness" and "movement" are seen independently, by different parts of the brain. Some part of your visual cortex 'sees' movement, but doesn't see the things that are moving. How freaky is that? Some other part sees the edges between things, but without seeing the things that the edges are between. It's all very weird.   

       I think that if we figured out how the brain takes all this stuff and actually makes you think you're seeing a man in blue trousers on a bicycle, we'd probably understand consciousness and all that stuff. <\rabil>
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 29 2011

       I agree.   

       I tried talking with a few doctors about it because everything I've read about palinopsia indicates that it is always indicative of some disease or other but since it does not impair any aspect of my life or cause me any distress and I'm healthy as an ox <knocks on wood> it is a non-issue, yet whatever I've got going on in my head is exactly what these other folks seem to need, and that reasoning seems backwards to me.   

       Determining the way individuals see as children will have a great impact on determining the functioning of their minds, but everyone is born thinking that every other person sees the way that they do.
They find out that they are wrong in stages.

       Or at least I did.   

       [2 fries] I'm fascinated by your desciption of your condition (above). It must be awful to get such a condition late in life, although I can understand how, if you've grown up with it, you're used to it. However, I can't help thinking that there must be something that such a way of seeing the world must be really useful for - e.g. a different perspective on making films, or an unusual ability to do certain kinds of surveillance, etc.
hippo, Aug 30 2011

       [fries] have you thought of writing a book about the subject?
po, Aug 30 2011

       //there must be something that such a way of seeing the world must be really useful for //   

       Pattern recognition seems to be one, and thinking outside the box.
When all of the adults don't understand what you mean as a kid you learn to question everything.

       I've never thought of writing a book about it [po].
Nobody 'wants' to be different. It was always my shame growing up and, although you'd never know it judging by some of the things I say on-line, I really Really don't like attention.
I stopped talking about it at nine or ten and if it wasn't for learning that my peeps are being flushed out of the system, and if [MB] hadn't asked, I wouldn't say anything at all.

       Can you add Jerk Recognition Software to turn only that particular person in your field of view into a giant festering oozing Jabba the Hut? All others would appear normal. I would also be interested in adapting that to windshield technology to turn the car that cuts me off in traffic into a smoking kielbasa sausage. Bun. [+]
Grogster, Aug 31 2011

       Inspired by [2fries]' courage in speaking about his own remarkable visual anomaly, I too would like to share the story of a special visual abnormality that I have kept secret and tried my very best to ignore. Since discovering this at a young age I have wrestled with whether it is a special ability or as [MaxwellBuchanan] described an unrepressed optical phenomenon. Quite simply stated: I have the ability to see through objects. I discovered this ability for the first time as a young child by accident when one of my hands was passing by my face. After some experimentation and practice I soon found that if I concentrated I could see through half of my hand. At first I thought that only one of my eyes had this kind of x-ray vision, but upon using my other hand found that both my eyes posess this ability. However, thankfully, my brain seems to know that when I cover both eyes it should be dark and turns off the x-ray vision; what has been said about necessary visual deductions by the brain must be true, as my sleep has not been affected by this. Nevertheless, being able to render most objects transparent did have an adverse effect on my ability to learn. Putting a book in front of most children's faces can effectively calm them and teach concentration, but not a child who can see right through it! They were the fools afterall! As I grew older and overcame the disabling aspects of this, I learned to control it. Finally, towards the end of my childhood despite the progress I had made my vision became a source of great shame, the sensual awakenings of puberty led me to try and see that which was not to be seen, and I vowed never to exercise it or speak of it again. To this day I have not spoken to a soul about it; however I do admit that at times I will look down from the corner of my eye through my nose and chuckle to myself.
rcarty, Aug 31 2011

       <slow clap>   

       Good thing I didn't bring up tinnitus.
God only knows what you'd've confessed to...

       The doctor said I was very important, but that still didn't help me achieve erection.
rcarty, Aug 31 2011

       heh <Dr. Evil> "One two...three. I'm ok, I'm ok."   

       A fascinating case and something many of you might find interesting.   

       One of the people on the vs forum began seeing this way so suddenly and severely that visual overstimulation now causes temporary blindness for her.
Upstanding citizen, legal carreer, swears she's never touched an halucinogen so her doctors have really gone-to-town trying to pin down a diagnosis but nada.

       She has been taking classes to cope with blindness as her doctors have prescribed being blindfolded for an entire month in an attempt to re-boot the visual part of her mind.   

       I don't know that this has been tried before and thought you'd like to hear of it.   

       Sorry for highjacking your idea with this stuff [MaxwellBuchanan].
I seem to have a bad habbit of doing that.

       You're very welcome, [2fries]. The bindfold/reboot idea seems a bit of a stab in the dark (so to speak). On the other hand, it may be the only/best shot.   

       Have they considered asking House?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 05 2011

       Definitely a stab in the Hail Mary. Good on them for being creative, though. Never mind House, what about Damasio?
mouseposture, Sep 05 2011


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