James Blaha has lived with amblyopia and strabismus, also known as lazy eye and crossed eyes, respectively, for most of his life. It’s what inspired him to found Vivid Vision a virtual-reality vision therapy game company.
“People who have vision impairment are always wondering what it is they’re missing, how much their vision is kind of holding them back,” said the 28-year-old.
And that’s why him company’s mission statement is to show what people similar to himself are missing. The games created at his company use the virtual reality system, the Oculus Rift, sending messages to each eye. The program challenges the weaker or lazy eye to work harder, prompting the brain to recognize something is off, and compensating for the ‘change’.
“We’ll take specific objects in the virtual space and render them a lot brighter to the weak eye, and a lot dimmer to the strong eye,” Blaha explains.
“At a certain threshold, the brain kind of says, ‘OK, there’s something unique going on in this eye that I have to pay attention to,’ and it turns it back on.”
They’re continuing to test the technology and its benefits, and are expected to release their findings by the end of 2016.