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PixelOptics' SuperVision Gets $3.5M

Photonics.com
Jan 2006
ROANOKE, Va., Jan. 19, 2006 -- PixelOptics Inc. (Pixel), a developer of electronic eyewear, announced that it will receive $3.5 million from the Defense Department to develop SuperVision, a technology that enables military personnel to have better than 20/20 vision, in an effort to give troops a combat advantage and reduce the number of friendly fire incidents.

SuperVision program manager Dwight Duston, Pixel's executive vice president of research and development and military programs, said, "Certain nonuniformities within the human eye are the cause of most vision deficiencies. Conventional aberrations, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, 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'. 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 correct vision to 20/20 by using the same focus over the entire lens surface. Pixel's lenses optimize vision by adjusting the refractive index of an array of transparent pixels contained within the lenses, Duston said.

Pixel Chief Technology Officer Bill Kokonaski added, "Pixel's 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." Because the technology can correct vision to better than 20/20, even those who don't currently wear eyeglasses can still benefit from wearing Pixel's lenses, Kokonaski said.

An estimated 170 million Americans today wear corrective eyeglasses and/or contact lenses, and as much as half the US population -- 150 million people -- could see better if their vision was optimized by correcting their higher-order aberrations, the Pixel officers said.

"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 Ron Blum, president and CEO of Pixel. "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."

For more information, visit: www.PixelOptics.com



GLOSSARY
aberration
A departure from ideal paraxial imaging behavior. The distortion of an optical field wavefront as it is propagated through the elements of an optical system. The field distortion is due to the interaction of the wavefront with ideal components and therefore a result of optical component behavior.
lens
A transparent optical component consisting of one or more pieces of optical glass with surfaces so curved (usually spherical) that they serve to converge or diverge the transmitted rays from an object, thus forming a real or virtual image of that object.
vision
The processes in which luminous energy incident on the eye is perceived and evaluated.
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