Shalom Life | July 13, 2014

Israel's "GlassesOff" App Significantly Improves Your Vision

Based on research from Tel Aviv University, the app "codes" our brains for us to read better

By: Laura London, NoCamels

Published: July 10th, 2014 in Business » Israel

Aging can come with wonderful things like new-found understanding of priorities and deeper self-awareness, but getting older also comes with some inconveniences, like the need for reading glasses.

However – and you may want to put your reading glasses on for this one – a simple mobile app is said to be able to turn the clock back almost nine years for your eyes. GlassesOff, invented in Israel, helps individuals aged 40-60 improve their vision by playing a simple game only a few times each week. The app is based on research from Tel Aviv University, published in Nature.com’s “Scientific Reports”, which shows that presbyopia (literally ‘aging eyes’) is not caused by visual clouding, as previously thought, but by prolonged brain processing time of images.

‘Coding’ our brains to read better

With these findings in hand, the team at Israeli startup GlassesoOff began developing a mobile game that can train the brain to bypass presbyopia. According to the research findings, the brain’s visual cortex is very similar to a binary code on a computer; like the 1’s and 0’s that instruct our computers what to do, any image in the brain can be represented as abstract Gabor patches (like the ones at every optometrist visit, that contain a big letter ‘E’) that vary in their frequency, contrast and orientation. Our brains too can be trained to differentiate between and bypass these variations, known as the art of neuroplasticity.

This change in our ‘perspective’ on vision is one of the revolutionary things about GlassesOff, CEO Nimrod Mader says: “When people think about their vision system they immediately think about the way their eye functions. However, while focusing on the quality of the image captured by the eye, many people forget the significant role that our brains play in interpreting images.”

Mader says that by training the brain with GlassesOff to adapt itself in cases of visual crowding, or the inability to identify words or objects inside a paragraph, reading glasses can be made obsolete.

This article was first published on NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the site, click here.

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