Autofocus Telescope System for Low Vision

Period of Performance: 08/01/1989 - 06/30/1991


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ocutech, Inc.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Principal Investigator


Ocutech proposes to develop an autofocus telescope that can be mounted to an eyeglass frame for use by the visually impaired. The design of the device will address the major complaints of users of conventional low vision bioptic systems regarding field of view, weight, and appearance. The proposed device will be derived from our current work on the Horizontal Light Path Vision Enhancing System (HLP-VES). The HLPO-VES is a manually focusing keplarian telescope that successfully addresses the acceptability issues noted above and appears to lend itself to the application of autofocus technology. Initial efforts will adapt promising autofocus hardware and software to the specific performance criteria of a low vision telescope, followed by optical bench testing of a current HLP-VES device adapted with these autofocus components. A preliminary prototype will be constructed for additional headborn laboratory evaluation prior to the phase II production of prescribable prototypes for clinical evaluation. The successful development of such a device may have substantial impact upon the acceptance, adaptation, and utilization of low vision telescopic devices by the visually impaired.