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Hyperscope: Did you really see what you saw?

19 Mar

Back in the 1980’s Terry Pope, then of the University of Reading, created the Hyperscope which increased the distance between the eyes thereby adjusted the perception of distance and measurement of objects.  Why? The Hyperscope was created to glean a better understanding of our vision system particularly so that when we see an object, we see a more three dimensional image.

 When we look at an object, each of our eyes delivers rapid images to our brain. Our brain intellectualizes what it knows about objects, quickly sorting the images and sends a message back of the three-dimensional object before us.  Thank you very much oh intelligent one! 

Without the help of our brain, we would probably never pour water in a glass because the glass would look obscured to us and it is likely that we would think that the glass could not possibly hold water.  Luckily, our brain jumps to the rescue and adjusts the object, telling our eyes that the object is really a three-dimensional object and can indeed hold water.  It is really a matter of survival. The brain patiently works with our eyes to make what we see make sense. Easy enough right?

Our visual system is a complex system of teamwork between the brain and our eyes.  Terry Pope created the Hyperscope to gain a clearer understanding of the perception of depth and hence an appreciation for our visual system.  The Hyperscope increased the distance between the eyes from approximately 65 millimeters to 415 millimeters and in doing so allowed the viewer to see objects in a more three dimensional format.   

The Hyperscope, then, is an interesting tool that aids our understanding of our visual system by allowing us to see images with a more three-dimensional distinction.  If you are so inclined, you could build a similar tool at home.  Now take a gander at checking out objects at varying distances while removing and replacing your cyborg spectacles.

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