OcuBlink introduces synthetic eyeballs for AR/VR testing

1 min read

OcuBlink, a developer of sophisticated eye models for ophthalmic-related testing, has introduced the first synthetic eyeball for augmented and virtual reality validation applications.

The models have nearly identical optical properties as human eyes, including mimicking the complexity of how visible and infrared light reflects through the pupil and across the limbus. The design, engineering and manufacturing process results in an optically clear, standardised and stable eyeball that enables testing consistency.

The product is being piloted by AdHawk Microsystems to calibrate eye tracking in advanced AR/VR systems for medical and consumer electronics applications. AdHawk produces custom, wafer-scale silicon devices to accelerate the proliferation of eye tracking in a broad range of devices. Its MEMS-based eye tracker captures subtle changes in eye movement dynamics, enabling effortless, ultra-low-latency control of wearable devices while revealing people's interests, emotional state and brain health.

AdHawk has incorporated the OcuBlink eyeballs into its robotic testing system to evaluate its algorithms and new devices, such as AR/VR glasses, with a high degree of replicability. This precision is required for the company’s unique microsystems that take and process thousands of measurements every second, allowing on-the-fly velocity calculations with unprecedented resolution. Since velocity profiles of saccades (the rapid involuntary movements of the eye) are highly consistent, AdHawk’s proprietary algorithms can predict where a user will look.

“By using OcuBlink synthetic eye models, AdHawk is able to run reliable, consistent tests all day, every day,” says Neil Sarkar, PhD, CEO and co-founder of AdHawk. “We can run tests remotely and when our facilities are unstaffed. We wouldn’t be able to do this work as effectively or precisely with more traditional eyeball substitutes.”

“Our innovations are advancing and accelerating how researchers, corporations, universities and others can interact with the eye,” says Chau-Minh Phan, MSc, PhD, FAAO, co-founder of OcuBlink. “This includes our OcuBlink system for on-eye fluidics testing, our Ocuball products for foreign body removal training, and now our synthetic offering for AR/VR system validation. These are fantastic products in their own right, and also serve as building blocks for even more pronounced innovations in our artificial eye pipeline.”

OcuBlink was started as an initiative of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and now operates as an affiliate, utilising CORE’s staffing and laboratories. At the end of 2018, OcuBlink was accepted into Velocity, Canada’s most productive startup incubator. In 2019, the company released Ocuball, life-like polymer-based eyeballs that reduce dependence on animal testing and are in use by optometry schools worldwide to train students in foreign body removal.