Automated squinting instead of glasses, contacts, or lasik

[Lee] is nearsighted and has had it with contacts and glasses. When trying to figure out an alternative, he looked at the core of the problem. The eye is not shaped correctly and therefore cannot focus adequately. The solution is to change the shape of the lens. This is exactly what lasik (laser eye surgery) does, but instead of going under the incredibly bright knife [Lee] built some headgear that pulls on your face to reshape your eye.

The hardware is from an old portable CD player. The sled that moved the laser lens has been repurposed to pull a thread taped to the skin at the corner of his eye. He built a control system that lets him adjust the tension by moving his fingers. Basically when the skin is pulled tight it causes him to squint and possibly reshapes the cornea just a bit. We’re not sold on the idea, but we can’t poo-poo the experiment; who knows what discovery this could lead to? We’re just glad he didn’t use electrical impulses to hack his peepers.

You can find some test video embedded after the break.

Comments

  1. Simon says:

    I use CRT lenses.

    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthokeratology

    They are hard lenses you wear at night while you sleep which reshape your corneas. Then you don't need to wear anything during the day but you have perfect vision. I've been a soft contacts (and glasses) wearer for years and don't trust the surgery options. These work great and they are totally reversible. Stop wearing them and your eyes return to normal. I wish I had known about them sooner.

  2. mohonri says:

    The reason squinting works has nothing to do with reshaping the lens–indeed, I would be quite surprised if that actually happens. Squinting works because it reduces the aperture through which light enters the eye, so it increases the depth of field and therefore improves the focus at greater distances. It’s a lot like an f-stop on your SLR.

    • Lee says:

      Indeed, if one squints one can notice a decrease in one’s field of vision (i.e. a decrease in the amount of light entering the eye). However, if you pull at the skin at the corners of your eyes with your fingers you will notice an enhancement of distance vision without a noticable decrease in field of vision. In other words, while this project is called ‘squintasaurus’, and the vision enhancement does work, I’m pretty sure it does not work off the same principle as squinting. Therefore the most likely explanation I’m left with is a flattening of the lense, but I may be wrong, in any case it works and it works better than squinting :)

  3. Praetor1 says:

    Well…look how many successful chnages these have gone through before the proper end result:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33838556@N02/3174219051/

    this one includes tape on the eyewear, so this is a “two fer”:

    http://legacy-cdn.smosh.com/smosh-pit/012011/hands-free-head-set.jpg

  4. wardy says:

    It’s not even April yet.

  5. Alex Rossie says:

    What mohonri says. This is why pinhole glasses or the old trick of looking through a small hole in a piece of card works if you’ve lost your glasses.

    Also LASEK doesn’t go near the lens it reshapes the cornea not the lens. The cornea is also a lens, but it’s not the lens of the eye, easy mistake.

  6. I had LASIK done… best money I ever spent ;-)

  7. jimbob says:

    mohonri is 100% correct. i often wonder if anyone even cares if the article descriptions are even close to being true on this site, since they’re so often ridiculously inaccurate.

  8. N0LKK says:

    I’m told I’m legally blind without corrective measures. Age has caught up with me, and just correct to 20/20 rather than one line better than 20/20 when younger. I like many one of my eyes is stronger than the other. With years of being glasses being the first thing I pout on in the morning, and take off at night, I may have developed habits that may be injurious to my eyes, if consciously have to think about wearing eye protection

    I Don’t know; squinting is a natural response, so if it where effective corrective lenses would have never been developed.

  9. vonskippy says:

    I thought the “H” in HaD stood for “Hack” not “Hoax”.

  10. Hirudinea says:

    Ah, the Ludovico technique of vision correction, Stanley Kubrick would be proud.

  11. midnight says:

    Even though techy it reminds me of some Indian leppar with some DIY crutches…

    In my country you get a 7 day holiday with basic insurance to get laser surgery done in some 2nd world country by western doctors bypassing tax etc.

    Ah well… guess you can always choose to look between a cross breed frankenstein and a 14 year old wearing retainers.

  12. DrGibson says:

    I’m an Optometrist so let me try to clarify some of your comments. Squinting works by a combination of temporarily flattening the cornea and creating a smaller aperture. While the cornea and the lens are two different structures, the cornea acts as a lens and actually does about 65% of the focusing of the eyes. The lens and the glasses/contacts do the rest of the work. The lens functions differently from the cornea in that the lens can change it’s power and allow you to focus for objects that are closer to you, at least until you get to be over 40 like me, at which point the lens begins to lose it’s flexibility therefore resulting in the need for reading glasses and bifocals. While I think this is one of the more useless hacks I’ve seen, I’ve had patients who hated glasses and contacts so much that they would have probably worn this just so they could say “see, I don’t need glasses” so I applaud the inventor and say good luck in getting this to gain acceptance. I wish I had your hacking skill. One last comment, legal blindness refers to best corrected vision, so if you are 20/20 with your correction, you are not legally blind no matter how bad your vision is without correction.

    • Lee says:

      Cool, yeah I read on a bunch of websites that “squinting works by decreasing the aperture”, but I had a feeling that that was oversimplifyied and that it was a combination of that along with lens (cornia) flattening. Since when I pull at the skin at the corners of my eyes I don’t notice any decrease in aperture like I do when squinting, I guessed that this method works more through cornial flattening then squinting does. Do you mind if I add an excerpt of your comment to the project’s description to clarify things?

  13. t&p says:

    wow this is stupid.
    I like to see if chicks dig me more with that thing and it pulling on my eyes.

    “LETS GO TO THE CLUB GUYS, here let me put on my eye puller.”
    *Goes to club, wondering why chicks (and everyone else) is in the corner giving me strange faces.
    “Oh well these bitches are just hoes anyways. LETS GET DRUNK!”
    *Drives back home and gets pulled over.
    *Cop sees your head gear and smells alcohol.
    Cop: “Let me see your ID.”
    *Cop looks at ID and finds a restriction code that requires glasses.
    Cop:”Step out of the car, please.”

  14. Praetor1 says:

    Yeah…because manually/naturally squinting makes you look ridiculus.

  15. Mental2k says:

    Reminds me of high school geography, when I didn’t want glasses, I used to push on the side of my eye to focus. Got quite good at it.

    My Gf is an optometrist, and I seem recall her telling me that the lens is only for “fine tuning” as most of the refraction is done by the cornea.

    As someone else mentioned, this is what gets reshaped during laser surgery. Bad Hackaday.

  16. Haku says:

    All it’s missing is the voice changer so you can accurately say:

    “I am Locutus of Borg”

  17. evs says:

    when I was a kid and first got my glasses, I hated wearing them. my vision at that point was only somewhat off (and has since gotten worse), but I used to go without glasses, and if I needed to read something at a distance I discovered that I could fix my vision by tugging at the corners of my eyes with my fingers. it HAS to be reshaping the lens, because it didn’t close the aperture of my eye, so it was different from squinting.

  18. haha, this is crazy.
    but if it works, hey…

  19. daniel says:

    A Clockwork Orange: Steampunk Edition

  20. Eirinn says:

    “but we can’t poo-poo the experiment”

    I love you guys.

  21. heatgap says:

    Um yeah, I’m sorry but I’m just not about to glue servo controlled wires to my eyelids. Cool eyesight hack but it makes me think of that weird theater scene in A Clockwork Orange (when they pry his eyes open.)

  22. Tom the Brat says:

    Um, I think I’ll stick with glasses.

  23. Luke says:

    Mechanically reshaping the eye in this manner will increase intraocular pressure (perhaps only slightly but nonetheless…). If you are borderline for glaucoma you won’t need glasses in the long run – you’ll need a white cane.

  24. Carl Hultay says:

    Hmm.

    What of you have severe lattice degeneration of the retina and doing this further stretches the retina? I can’t even rub my eyes, according to my ophthalmologist due to risk of new tears.

    If you have severe myopia. Don’t screw with it.

  25. bob says:

    Lightweight. Isaac Newton used knitting needles.

  26. bob says:

    I’m an ophthalmologist and I have to say this is the dumbest project I have ever seen on this site.
    Cheers

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