It seems like every week there is another revolutionary use of smartphones with the potential to change the way we do things. Smart Vision Labs has created such an invention with the help of the iPhone and its low-light 8-megapixel camera.  In short, what it does is enable is quick and inexpensive eye prescription diagnosis with a portable lens hooked up to an iPhone. The invention allows doctors to carry around in their pockets what used to require a visit to the optometrist’s office.

This week, we spoke with Smart Vision Labs co-founder Marc Albanese. Check out our interview and demo in the video below.

On a recent trip to Haiti, Marc and his team were able to set up a field optometrist’s office where they were able to diagnose eye prescriptions in around one minute per patient. Not only was an order of magnitude more efficient, it was especially useful for kids who aren’t always willing to sit through the normal routine eye exam.

I found myself in a rural village in Haiti, packed inside a crowded van with 16 other volunteers – all exhausted from a full day of vision tests. My colleague, Greg Van Kirk, and I were physically tired but mentally invigorated. As part of the refraction team, Greg and I helped to refract nearly 250 community members over a six hour time-frame, and we were rewarded with the smile of a woman seeing clearly for the first time, possibly in her whole life. In the process, we successfully field tested our smartphone-based autorefractor (the SVOne), something we have been working towards over the last two years. Experiencing firsthand the demand for vision services in Haiti provided our team with tremendous validation that our efforts over the past two years have been well spent.

9to5-image 2014-09-19 at 8.13.02 AM9to5-image 2014-09-19 at 8.13.30 AM How does it work? Marc gave us a quick demo of the device:

Marc and his team will be at the Vision Expo West this weekend demonstrating their device and you can find out more about the product on the Smartvision Labs website.

9to5-image 2014-09-18 at 5.03.39 PM

About the Author

Seth Weintraub's favorite gear