New iPhone App Keeps Eyesight from Deteriorating Tuesday, November 1, 2011
TAU researcher develops application to delay the need for reading glasses
Deteriorating eyesight, which leads to the use of reading glasses, is a natural part of the aging process. But a new iPhone application developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University could keep your vision sharp for years longer, beyond the age where glasses are usually needed.
The application is called "GlassesOff." According to Prof. Uri Polat of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the co-founder of Ucansi, the company that designed the software, the application is designed to "use the brain itself as glasses." Prof. Polat's team described the technology at the meeting of the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society in San Francisco.
When we reach middle age, the lenses in our eyes become less supple, making it more difficult to focus on objects that are close to us — which necessitates the use of reading glasses. The application trains the brain to translate blurry images into clear ones. In the application, groups of blurry lines called Gabor patches appear at several points across the screen, and the user must identify when one appears in the center. In trials, users with an average age of 51 were able to read two lines lower on an eye-test chart after 40 uses of the application.