Most of us only know how good our eyesight is when an optometrist measures how far down the eyechart we can read.

However, a University of Auckland laboratory is combining artificial intelligence with consumer-devices to use eReaders to diagnose eye disease, 3D videogames to replace eyepatches, and eyetrackers to diagnose a range of brain conditions.

Eventually, with this technology, every time we use a digital device – say to watch a Netflix movie or to read this blurb – our health-record will be updated with a detailed assessment of our vision. No test required! 

This rich store of information, updated daily throughout our lives, will enable physicians to pick up the subtle early stages of a whole host of heath conditions, leading to earlier and more equitable treatment and ultimately better vision for all of us. 


Professor Steven Dakin is Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science and chairs Eye Health Aotearoa. His background is in neuroscience and understanding how our brains make sense of the visual world. He is currently researching how various technologies – virtual reality, gaming, psychophysics (measuring the limits of vision) and eye-tracking – can be used to understand and treat vision loss.

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Last updated: 24 March 2021