A new vision correcting system that mimics the human eye could be a saving grace for those suffering from a common vision problem that is often associated with aging.

A team of researchers from Stanford University has developed a new computational system that effectively mimics the natural way eyes correct focus, particularly while viewing objects that are closer rather than farther away, correcting a common vision problem called presbyopia where people have an inability to focus clearly on nearby objects.

“A lot of presbyopes have had time to get used to their corrections, through progressive lenses, monovision, etc., but they still spent the majority of their lives being able to refocus their eyes,” Nitish Padmanaban, lead author of the study and electrical engineering PhD candidate at Stanford, said in a statement. “We want to restore that experience.”

The new system, called Autofocal, externally mimics the natural accommodation response of the eye by combining data from eye trackers and a depth sensor and then automatically drives focus-tunable lenses. Autofocals’ focus-tunable eyewear for presbyopia correction incorporates eye trackers and a depth camera with a sensor fusion algorithm designed to jointly and effectively make use of both in one system.

During a study, the researchers tested the system on 24 users between 51 and 81-years old. Each participant was evaluated across a set of visual performance tasks that included visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and letter matching.

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