Virtual reality technology is typically discussed in terms of things like entertainment, but IrisVision shows that the applications are broader than fun alone. The IrisVision device, which was founded by Dr. Frank Werblin, an MIT graduate, Guggenheim fellow, and professor at UC Berkeley, in partnership with Samsung, uses a VR headset to offer people with macular degeneration better conditions for reading, working on computers, seeing faces clearly, or watching television.
Though VR often gets criticized for the degree to which people tune out of the real world when using it, IrisVision does quite the opposite. The device uses a 16-megapixel camera mounted on top of a VR headset to magnify the wearer's field of vision inside of a "bubble" on the screen. The magnification of images inside that bubble can be adjusted, as can the size of the bubble itself. Macular degeneration impacts confined areas of peoples' fields of vision, so IrisVision combats that symptom directly.