Moving America Forward

Can Playing an App Enable You to See Better?

March 5, 2014
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Can Playing an App Enable You to See Better?
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
The University of California-developed ULTIMEYES can help users improve their vision.

To say that your eyes are weary after spending hours battling against the chocolate blocks in Candy Crush Saga is the understatement of the century. But just because squinting at your smartphone’s screen makes your vision feel strained doesn’t mean that all apps are bad for your eyes. In fact, an interactive gaming app developed by University of California, Riverside researchers actually improves your vision.

The app, which is called ULTIMEYES, improves the brain’s ability to process information that it receives from the eyes. To play the app, users are required to complete tasks such as clicking on hard-to-see targets. The more successful you are, the more points you earn. After using it, test subjects walked away with an improved ability to see in dim light and a sharper vision. Researchers used the improved stats to draw the conclusion that this type of technology could improve the quality of life for people with reduced vision as they complete everyday tasks like reading, driving, and watching television.

ULTIMEYES was tested on collegiate baseball players from the University of California who used the technology to better read pitches and improve their ERAs (earned run averages). According to the research recently published in the journal Current Biology, baseball players that used the app for 30 25-minute sessions registered a 31 percent increase in eyesight.

Perhaps players should sing to themselves, “I can see clearly now…”

Check out the video below to learn more:

 

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