Could augmented reality be used to treat colour blindness? Magic Leap thinks so

One giant Magic Leap for mankind
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Those affected by colour blindness could one day be treated through augmented reality, with mysterious startup Magic Leap granted a patent outlining the technology.

This isn't the first time we've seen a company in the industry play optometrist, with the EnChroma glasses working to treat green-red colour blindness. If you're unfortunately hampered by other variations of the eye deficiency, though, there isn't much out there to help you.

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As the wordy filing details, Magic Leap may soon be able to fill in the gap. But how does it actually work?

We'll spare you the mind-numbing patent talk, but, essentially, a head-mounted AR device will be able to pass light from the world into the eye of a wearer before being configured to selectively modify the source based on the deficiency of the wearer.

Bionic eyes, here we come

Colour blindness is caused by the cones in our eyes being unable to accurately differentiate between colour. So while EnChroma's glasses manage to help discriminate between green and red by creating more distinction between the wavelengths of light, it appears Magic Leap's idea could potentially propel this even further.

Sensors will allegedly allow Magic Leap's technology to pick up what deficiencies are present, then amplify the light in order to apply a filter to avoid colour overlapping.

Alongside treatment for colour blindness, Magic Leap also briefly hinted at diagnosing and adjusting for other eye conditions, such as myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia. Just think, you'll never need to update your glasses to match that regressing prescription ever again.

Still, as is the case with all patents, a lot still remains unclear — namely whether this tech is anywhere close to being produced or if it even holds up. With Magic Leap taking a leaf out of Apple's book when it comes to keeping things secret, season this one with some salt until we potentially hear something more concrete.

Source: Inverse

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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