High-Tech Glasses Help Improve Memory

(Boston — AP) Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will present a new invention Monday that helps people improve their memory without doing anything.
Most people wear glasses to see better, but a new pair developed by MIT scientist is a bit more high-tech.

“If you almost remember somebody’s name, this can provide a little more kick to that so that you, in fact, do remember their name,” MIT spokesman Dr. Alex Pentland said.

They’re called memory glasses — a vision that scientists are developing to help people with a range of problems.

“(They could treat) poor eyesight of various sorts, including cataracts, poor memory, which includes the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s,” Pentland said.

Whatever you need to remember is programmed into a tiny computer that you wear. The computer sends messages in the form of light to a mini TV screen on the glasses. The messages — like someone’s name, or a word like keys or medicine — flash before your eyes at 180th of a second. It’s too fast for the eyes to notice, but not the brain.

“Our tests have shown a 50 percent better memory with these than without, and the thing that’s interesting is that people aren’t even aware that anything is happening,” Pentland said.

Researchers are testing the glasses on patients with memory disorders. They could help those who’ve had strokes or even amnesia.

Memory glasses are made by a Boston-area company called MicroOptical, but they aren’t on the market yet. Scientists said that could take a couple more years.

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