Here comes online refraction. Chicago-based Opternative is "the world's first online eye exam [without a web cam]. Opternative's refractive exam delivers a valid prescription, signed by an ophthalmologist," according to the company's Facebook page. The upstart hopes to perform refractions for myops--temporarily presbyops need not apply--within the next five months. It also is working with the National Institutes of Health to ensure the efficacy of the prescription, which the company says might be better than the traditional prescription. Finally it wants to hook up with optometrists, ophthalmologists, and "large" online retailers, thereby making the purchase of contact lenses and eyewear as seamless as possible for the patient. The company executives quickly note that individuals need eye exams at least once every two years.
Don't confuse this development with devices that transform iPhones in autorefractors, such as EyeNetra's Netra G, which primarily is a tool for eye care professionals attempting to refractor in locations where it would be difficult to bring traditional equipment.