Yesterday, a study was presented showing how backlit tablets benefit those who suffer with vision loss when reading an eBook. The study was shown at the 116th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (what? you haven’t heard of it?), and put backlit tablets to the test against a conventional, non-backlit Amazon Kindle e-Reader.

Those with vision loss due to such conditions as diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration found the iPad to be the best e-Reader of the devices tested. Apple’s tablet helped both reading speed and reading comfort in the tests carried out.

Of the people tested, those with the worst loss of vision (below 20/40) showed that using a backlit tablet made the best improvement to their reading speed. Users of such devices found the tablets to be easier to read from than printed word, and also improved their reading speed by a minimum of 42 words per minute, a huge improvement over print.

That’s not to say, however, that people suffering from slighlty milder vision loss didn’t benefit from iPad-like devices in the test, as on average, they improved upon their regular reading speed by 15 words per minute.

The use of backlit tablets could be a great replacement to the current solution for those who need aid to read. At the moment, the hard-sighted must carry around a bulky CCTV magnifying machine if they intend to read during the day.

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