Whatever the latest gadget might be, for years chances have been way better than even that I’m going to need it. Immediately. At least that was the case until reading glasses became a permanent part of my life. I’ll spare you the tale of how my glasses are usually atop my head or hiding under my papers when I’m searching for them and get to the sad, ugly truth: It’s just not that much fun to read things off a smartphone or tablet when said tech gadget is sitting on a chair a desk length away because I’m trying to read it without my glasses and my arms aren’t long enough to hold it far enough away.
I’ve made the type larger on my phone. At the moment, it’s large enough that I’m pretty sure it can be seen from space with the naked eye – a boon for the NSA but not so much for me because I still can’t read without my glasses. You’ll surely understand that it was with a delight not known for years that I read in Scientific American that I, along with the nearly 40 to 70% of my fellow Americans in need of reading glasses, may soon have a screen on my smartphone and tablet that corrects for my vision.
Gordon Wetzstein, my new favorite researcher (currently of UC Berkeley and formerly of M.I.T.) has developed a screen, along with his colleagues, that “can correct for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and more complicated vision problems.”
That certainly handles anything I’m looking for, but it gets better.
[R]esearchers also plan on developing a slider that can be used to manually adjust the focus of the screen. Wetzstein says that the technology could be a boon for people in developing countries who have easier access to mobile devices than prescription eyewear.
This is a much more attainable solution than mine, which involved everyone growing Plastic Man arms. Hurray for science.