AR Computer To Terminate Eyestrain And Myopia
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In humans, prolonged contraction of the ciliary and medial rectus muscles during close reading will result in eye strain.
On the other hand, eye strain will not occur if the ciliary and medial rectus muscles do not contract during close reading.
About 2cm in front of the eye, the Near-Eye Display (NED) technology of Augmented Reality smart glasses (AR glasses) projects computer generated images/informations(CGI) directly onto the retina, and this provides a passive way for our eyes to acquire information.
Factors contributing to eyestrain and myopia
In the medical community, the main factors considered to causing eye fatigue and myopia are as follows:
1. Long-term contraction of the ciliary muscle.
2. Long-term contraction of the medial rectus muscle.
3. Insufficient exposure of the retina to sunlight.
4. The eye not exhibiting peripheral myopia.
5. Peripheral visual field deprivation.
"It is estimated that in 2020 around 2.6 billion people worldwide will have myopia and high myopia 4.99 millions."
"Evidence is mounting that myopia is growing around the world, with a recent study estimating that on average, 30% of the world is currently myopic and by 2050, almost 50% will be myopic, that’s a staggering 5 billion people."
Augmented reality smart glasses have the potential to play an important role in the prevention of asthenopia and myopia.
Termination of asthenopia
Similar in principle to an ophthalmoscope shining light into the eye, the NED of AR glasses actively projects CGI onto the retina.
①. Once any refractive errors are corrected, people of any age can receive the CGI clearly via the retina; this indicates that the light projected from the NED is indeed parallel light.
②. Once the refractive error is corrected, the CGI projected through the parallel light is naturally focused on the retina without any accommodation.
③. By extension of the accommodation-vergence reflex, no convergence.
Therefore, there is no contraction of the ciliary and medial rectus muscle.
So based on the aforementioned scientific facts, by using augmented reality glasses, humans can read at close range with both the ciliary and medial rectus muscles relaxed, and the eyes will never get tired.
Prevention of myopia
AR glasses can be turned into AR computer by appending a piece of opaque material on the front of the screen to turn the see-through display into a non see-through one and installing the software you want in its host.
When using AR glasses, its translucent display allows your eyes to receive two light sources at the same time, one is ambient light from the real world, and the other is projected by the NED.
When the display becomes opaque, light from the real world will not penetrate, and your retina will only receive parallel light from the NED.
Thus, an AR computer can be called an ophthalmoscope with a computer host.
• The AR Computer is equipped with a light-transmittable part around the opaque display. The opaque display allows the user to face the sun and use sunlight as the background light source. The opaque display protects the eyeball and the macula, while the light-transmittable part allows the peripheral retina to come into contact with sunlight.
• The AR Computer can be equipped with convex lenses around the opaque display. The convex lens can shorten the focal length of the light around the opaque display (i.e. the macula area) and change the light that is originally focused on the outside of the retina to the inside, turning the relative peripheral hyperopia into peripheral myopia.
• With the head raised, the light-transmittable part of AR Computer provides a wide field of view, eliminating the phenomenon where the peripheral visual field is deprived when reading with the head down.
Thus, the AR computer can simultaneously overcome all the major factors contributing to myopia.
The AR computer can complete all tasks a traditional PC is capable of, such as editing documents, browsing the web, emails, media playing etc. It also has the unique ability of AR glasses.
No reading glasses required
As long as the refractive error is corrected, the parallel light will naturally focus on the retina, people of any age can get a clear picture, so the elderly do not need reading glasses when using AR Computer.
As both the ciliary and medial rectus muscles are relaxed, there is no vergence-accommodation conflict (VAC), so there is no dizziness experienced by the user.
No back pain
You can take a supine position while using the AR computer. Being able to lie down means the spine can stretch and the vertebrae no longer overlap and squeeze each other. So there will be no back pain or neck stiffness, and obviously the supine position is a relatively comfortable position for humans.
No neck stiffness
The virtual image moves with the line of sight, so users can move their head and neck freely without having to keep looking down. Therefore, the shoulder and neck will not be stiff.
No spine damage
Using the AR computer lying down, the spine can be stretched, and the vertebrae will no longer overlap and squeeze each other, which can avoid damage to the vertebrae.
No physical fatigue
Being able to lie down and use the AR computer means the spine can stretch and relax, muscles throughout the body including the ciliary and medial rectus muscles can relax, making the body less likely to get tired and saving us more energy than any other working position. Therefore, even after a long day of work, we may still be full of energy. In the long run, this may boost our body's health and create a virtuous cycle. The effects of lying down on human health may warrant further study.
No complications of being sedentary
The light-transmitting part allows users to see the surrounding environment when using the AR computer, so you can change your posture and move your body at any time. Therefore, it encourages dynamic reading rather than static reading to avoid complications of a sedentary lifestyle. Users can even move around within the confines of a secure environment.
No need to turn on the lights
When we are using AR computers during the day, as long as we are facing a sunny place, we don’t need to turn on the lights.
The non see-through display blocks out light sources from the real world, and the retina only receives parallel light from the NED technology. So generally speaking there is no glare.
The light-transmittable part allows users to contact the surroundings, avoiding isolation from the environment and other users.
No physical screen needed
When CGI is projected onto the retina, a virtual screen will move freely with your line of sight. You can put it on the wall, on the ceiling, in mid-air, whereever you like.
Large virtual screen
After the retina is projected by the NED, the CGI is sent directly to the brain as a virtual image that does not exist in the real world. The size of the perceived virtual image depends on the angle of view and the distance between the viewer and the target screen. For example, at a 34° angle of view, the image is 120 inches at a distance of 5 meters, and 240 inches at 10 meters. After being projected by the NED optical engine, when looking forward, the eyes will act like a virtual projector. Since the distance from the display to the retina remains unchanged (about 4.4cm), so does the PPI(Pixels Per Inch). No matter how big the CGI gets, the image quality doesn't go down. This makes a difference between a virtual projector and a real one.
Binocular AR computer provides two display screens and 3D information for us.
When two images are different, an IMAX-like 3D effect can be created, which can be used to view in many things—including any surgical operation in Side-By-Side (SBS) 3D format.
2.5D replaces 2D
On the other hand, when two images are identical, a visual effect somewhere between 2D and 3D can be generated, which hereafter is referred to as 2.5D.
This is a visual phenomenon with a sense of depth, where each eye looks at its own 2D image without accommodation and convergence. The 2D scene that originally moved left-right horizontally in front of the eyes, will move back and forth from the sides of the head like a 3D movie, giving the audience an immersive feeling. This brings a richer, more vivid visual experience to the ubiquitous 2D images. When appreciating a painting, the layout of the painter can be more obvious, which may help to get closer to what the painter is trying to express. 2.5D is closer to our innate stereoscopic needs than 2D is. It will be interesting to see what effect the human response to the 2.5D scene will have.
Hologram and spatial computing
A hologram is an interactive 3D digital image that may be moved, disassembled, assembled and changed through gestures. It provides us with a way to observe, think, manipulate and explore in three dimensions.
Holographic technology releases the sealed digital information from behind the 2D screen of the device into the 3D space, allowing it to directly interact with the user, thus bringing us the era of spatial computing.
Interacting with holograms requires using gestures and often getting up and moving around and looking at it from a variety of angles. This is a kind of dynamic interaction that may have health benefits in the long run and avoid the complications associated with sitting too long. It is also a more playful way to acquire knowledge.
Without the cognitive load of converting 2D abstract information into 3D real images, spatial computing may have potential to make learning easier.
"We experience the world in three dimensions, and our visual systems and brains have adapted to processing information in this environment. With AR, the hologram makes the 3D object a natural extension of the physical world, reducing cognitive load, and thus making learning easier."
360° spherical virtual travel
With augmented reality technology and 360° spherical videos, we can walk around in the comfort of our homes and travel the universe, whether it is a real or imagined world. You can walk and explore on Mars, or you can jump into a rabbit hole to take an adventure.
AR glasses are generally equipped with gyroscope, GPS and accelerometer to track the user's position and movements of his or her body and head. During the 360° virtual tour, the user can walk around with the scenes in the movie and watch the scenery by turning his or her head and neck. This may be an interesting activity for patients in rehabilitation, the elderly, the infirm, and even the general population.
Relieve eye fatigue
Once the refractive error is corrected, both the ciliary and medial rectus muscles are relaxed. Therefore, the use of AR computer may relieve eye fatigue caused by prolonged contraction of the ciliary and medial rectus muscles due to long-term close reading.
Unaffected by vehicle vibration
The display of AR Computer moves synchronously with the user’s eyes, and the images remain clear and stable even on moving vehicles.
Sunlight instead of artificial light
The opaque display of AR computer protects the eyeball and the macula, allowing the user to face the sun with sunlight as the background light source.
In this way, everyone can have the opportunity to spend an appropriate amount of time in contact with the sun to improve physical and mental health.
“There is no scientific evidence that blue light from digital devices causes damage to your eye.”
The opaque display of AR computer protects the eyeball and the macula, keeps the clarify and contrast of the CGI and encourages users to go outdoors, in the woods, by the river, etc.
When AR Computer users go outdoors or face the outside, the use of artificial light is reduced, saving energy and being environmentally friendly.
In other words, when using AR computer, we basically don't have to turn on the light as long as we face the place with sunshine. On a global scale, it may save a lot of energy and help environmental protection.
Eye fatigue and myopia have endangered human beings for thousands of years, and despite various treatments, the myopic population continues to rise.
Although its results still need to be supported by clinical trial data, the fact that AR computer overcomes the currently known factors of myopia is promising.
The NED technology provides a passive way for our eyes to receive informations which is completely different from the way humans have been using their eyes to actively find objects and read information since ancient time. This has revolutionized the mechanism for reading at close range, and is undoubtedly worthy of further exploration.
Holograms have the potential to significantly reduce cognitive load and make learning easier in interesting ways. Through augmented reality, virtual and physical worlds will become intertwined, and spatial computing could become an important partner in our daily lives in the future.
Eliminating eye fatigue and myopia is the primary and fundamental responsibility of ophthalmologists to human beings.
"Myopia and high myopia estimates from 2000 to 2050 suggest signiﬁcant increases in prevalences globally, with implications for planning services, including managing and preventing myopia related ocular complications and vision loss among almost 1 billion people with high myopia." 
The author of this article calls on international ophthalmologists to carry out AR computer clinical trials to provide new options for preventing human myopia.
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- Ophthalmology 2016;123:1036-1042 ª 2016 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology