Considering All Points of View… Literally

The Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) program at York University takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding our sense of sight.

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Vision literally shapes the way we see the world. Beyond understanding the eye itself, vision research delves into areas like perception, disease and brain injury, machine learning, entertainment, and design. And it takes broad expertise to come up with bold ideas.

Formed to tackle complex topics like these, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) is an interdisciplinary program at York University that focuses on understanding vision from many perspectives.

“We’re looking at vision from all sorts of different points of view,” says neuroscientist Laurence Harris. “From the neurophysiological point of view, from normal vision and perceptual point of view, the computer point of view, and from robotics, also. So there’s many different applications, and many different ways of thinking about what vision is.”

VISTA casts a wide net, spanning everything from biological to computer vision, and also spanning from pure basic science to real-world applications.

To help get their technology to the market, VISTA has extensive collaborations with industry, including companies like Adobe, Google, and Qualcomm. From healthcare to virtual reality and entertainment, industry collaborators include experts in hospitals, filmmaking, and display manufacturing.

“These industry partners are the ones who are able to push out this technology,” says computer scientist Michael Brown. “So if you can develop something in the lab, you have connections to partners who can actually realize these things in products that consumers will use.”

York University is an ideal home for a program like VISTA, mainly because it formalized research relationships that were already thriving, making it even easier to collaborate. And with a team working on projects that reach into so many areas, the technology developed at VISTA is poised to make a big impact on the everyday lives of people around the world.

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