Skip to Content

Eye doctors could soon get a better look at your retina thanks to a technique used by astronomers to peer into the far corners of the galaxy. Using principles similar to those behind the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Rochester have built a device that hooks up to standard eye-imaging equipment and improves resolution by a factor of three to five. That could allow doctors to image blood cells and photoreceptors in the eye-not possible in today’s exam rooms-and detect diseases like glaucoma at an earlier stage. The device uses a six-millimeter-wide array of tiny movable mirrors to focus incoming light and correct for imperfections in the eye, such as a misshapen cornea. A built-in computer does the optical calculations and instructs the array to deform hundreds of times per second. In 2002, the researchers founded Iris AO in Berkeley, CA, to commercialize the technology. A federally approved device should reach doctors in three to five years.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.