This Virtual Reality Game Could Help Treat Lazy Eye

Vivid Vision founder James Blaha hopes his virtual reality games will create new solutions for vision therapy

“People who have vision impairment are always wondering what it is they’re missing, how much their vision is kind of holding them back,” says James Blaha, 28.

Blaha has lived with amblyopia and strabismus, also known as lazy eye and crossed eyes, for most of his life, and that’s what prompted him to found Vivid Vision, a virtual-reality vision therapy game company. The games are played using Oculus Rift and send specific images to each eye in an effort to train the lazy or crossed eye to work harder.

“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.”

The results of an ongoing study using the technology, led by Dr. Marc Levin, A neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of California, San Francisco, are expected to be released by the end of 2016.

Video produced by Granny Cart Productions

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team