The lights are on
We’ve seen studies that evidence gaming as a way to preserve eyesight, and even shared a story with you about a boy who was prescribed Nintendo DS time to help with an ocular condition. One company is taking a proactive approach though.
Carrot Neurotechnology’s Ultimeyes claims to sharpen eyesight. The game is available on PC, Android, and iOS, and there is some research to back up its efficacy.
A University of California, Riverside study (published in the peer-reviewed journals, Current Biology and Vision Research) and saw visual acuity improvement of 31 percent on a standard eye chart. The research group used the school’s baseball team as test subjects, resulting in improved batting performance and more runs created (using the calculation method made popular by Bill James’ Moneyball).
While the research with the baseball team was not an ideal, as it wasn’t conducted double-blind, eyesight was measured using equipment more sensitive than in clinical settings. A standard eye chart was also used for context in standard practice.
Additionally, we confirmed that other factors, like coaching changes and methodology were consistent before and during the study year. Ultimeyes has some science behind it, though we would have liked to see some additional rigor like double blind testing with sham exercises for the control group.
The app is available for $5.99 in the App Store and the Google Play Store.
Our TakeUnfortunately, the game part of Ultimeyes isn’t much of one. I was asked to match shapes and pick out blotches on a grey background. As far as contemporary mobile entertainment goes, this isn’t going to hold your attention for very long. The only reason to give this a try is if you’re interested in improving your eyesight.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.