GlassesOff aims to eliminate reading glasses with brain training

By Jonah Comstock

GlassesOffIpadIsraeli neuroscience technology company GlassesOff has announced its first iPad app, just a month after the company launched its iOS app for iPhones and iPods.

The apps help users eliminate dependency on reading glasses by "enhancing the image processing function in the visual cortex of the brain," according to the company. Within the app, users can play intensive visual stimulation games comprised of the 12-minute game sessions and reading evaluations. GlassesOff suggests users participate in this routine for three months, but also that they come back to the app occasionally to maintain effects over a long period of time. The app monitors performance and progress and adjusts to the user's results accordingly.

“Having an iPad specific application is extremely important for GlassesOff due to the prevalence of tablets devices in our target demographic – those aged in their forties and fifties are the highest among all age groups with 49 and 38 per cent respectively owning a tablet device," Nimrod Madar, CEO of GlassesOff, said in a statement.

The company is focused on the natural deterioration of close-up vision that occurs with age, and necessitates the adoption of reading glasses for older people. While it doesn't claim to stop the deterioration, the company claims that by training their brains, users can compensate for the degradation. A study of the technology at UC Berkeley, published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, showed that users could improve their vision sharpness by 80 percent.

"Traditionally, near distance reading improvement solutions were limited to optical corrections such as glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery. However, human vision performance is in fact limited by two factors: the quality of an image captured by the eye and the image processing capability of the brain as it interprets such images," Madar said in another statement. "GlassesOff's innovative solution is designed to improve reading by enhancing the image processing function of the visual cortex, demonstrating the amazing potential of the human brain."

GlassesOff launched its iPhone version of the app in mid-December. Users could do a two-week free trial, and then subscribe to the full version for an introductory price of $9.99. The company seems to be extending the same offer for the iPad version. The regular subscription price will be $59.99. GlassesOff expects to launch an Android version before the end of this quarter.