An eye exam on a smart phone

The Apple logo reflected off the eye of a computer user

There is no shortage of dumb things you can do on a smart phone. There are apps that simulate the vuvuzela, or a light saber, you can play Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies. So much dumb stuff available that it's easy to forget how powerful a highly portable computer can really be.

Fortunately, some folks at MIT are being smart about it and they've come up with an app called NETRA, stands for Near Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment. Couple it with a little plastic eye piece and you can evaluate someone's eyesight and what kind of glasses they might need. It could have huge implications for the developing world where fully equipped optometrist's offices are hard to come by. We talk to associate professor Ramesh Raskar at MIT's Media Lab and Ankit Mohan, a postdoctoral research associate there.

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