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Can an Oculus Rift game fix a lazy eye?

A new game has popped up asking for funding on Kickstarter shadow dweller, IndieGogo, which purports to be able to help fix eye related disorders like strabismus (crossed eye) and amblyopia (lazy eye), by using the Oculus Rift and a game designed specifically with this treatment in mind.

As the campaign explains, with conditions like these, fixing the problem at an early age can be critical, as over time the brain learns to disregard the eye that’s causing conflicts in vision, making 3D and depth perception difficult for the sufferer. However, some video games have shown promise in helping to treat this condition, even in patients far beyond the traditionally regarded cut-off point for effective treatment, eight to twelve years old.

With this research backing it, the campaign wants to create an Oculus Rift game called Diplopia, which will cater content specifically to each eye and force the brain to combine the two images in order to see the whole picture. It’s thought that in time, this could help teach the brain to utilise both eyes effectively and help them move independently to generate a complete image.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5tVBfBJr-s’]

“In the game you bounce a ball around a room with a paddle to destroy blocks, unlocking power ups,” reads the campaign description. In one example, the ball and background are displayed to the left eye and the paddle to the right eye, making it only possible to win if both are utilised.

“There will be several testing modes to measure suppression and the angle and type of offset between the eyes. Using these testing modes along with optional player surveys I hope to collect data about what techniques are best for treatment. This data would be released to the public after stripping all personal information from it,” it says.

Already the campaign has passed its threshold and hit the first stretch goal, which means Razer Hydra support (alongside the already supported Leap Motion controller) has been added. Up next is more programmers and artists to improve the game’s overall function and looks. Nvidia 3D vision could be added in the future as well as extra gameplay modes.

With 47 days to go, something tells me we’re going to see a lot of those goals hit.

KitGuru Says: This sounds like a pretty awesome project. Anything that corrects something like this without the need to cut a kid open seems like a great idea. 

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