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NJIT’s Alvarez and Team Win Augmented World Expo Europe Awards

Photonics.com
Nov 2018
NEWARK, N.J., Nov. 28, 2018 — A team of engineers, game designers, artists, and clinicians led by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has won two international awards for its vision therapy program at the 2018 Augmented World Expo Europe conference for augmented reality technology.

The NJIT project, VERVE (Virtual Eye Rotation Vision Exercises), employs virtual reality games to correct an eye motor disorder called convergence insufficiency, in which the muscles that control eye movements do not coordinate to focus on near objects. The NJIT-led team of engineers, game designers, artists and clinicians won two major international awards for the vision therapy platform, including 'most innovative breakthrough,' at the 2018 Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE EU), the leading industry conference for augmented reality technology.

The NJIT project, VERVE (Virtual Eye Rotation Vision Exercises), employs virtual reality games to correct an eye motor disorder called convergence insufficiency, in which the muscles that control eye movements do not coordinate to focus on near objects. The NJIT-led team of engineers, game designers, artists, and clinicians won two major international awards for the vision therapy platform, including “most innovative breakthrough,” at the 2018 Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE EU), the leading industry conference for augmented reality technology. Courtesy of NJIT.



The competition pitted NJIT against 114 teams from design programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech, NASA, and other leaders in the field. Sponsors of the award include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and VR First, a virtual reality educational outreach organization. The NJIT won the “Most Innovative Breakthrough” award.

NJIT’s Virtual Eye Rotation Vision Exercises (VERVE) project employs virtual reality games to correct an eye motor disorder called convergence insufficiency, in which the muscles that control eye movements do not coordinate to focus on near objects. Because each eye sees images separately, the person experiences double and blurred vision, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. The impact on cognition and learning can be severe, particularly in children.

The device, which has potential as a biomarker for concussion, is being tested in children’s hospitals across the country. Tara Alvarez, team leader and professor of biomedical engineering at NJIT, and her alumni students have started a company, OculoMotor Technologies, to commercialize VERVE. Alvarez is the company’s chief scientific officer. Company collaborators and backers include Salus University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the New Jersey Health Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

GLOSSARY
vision
The processes in which luminous energy incident on the eye is perceived and evaluated.
BusinessNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNJISTaugmented realityvisionopticsawardsAugmented World Expo EuropeVirtual Eye Rotation Vision ExercisesVERVETara AlvarezpeopleAmericas

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