UltimEyes asks users to complete tasks such as clicking on hard-to-see targets. It is designed to help rewire the brain to process the information it receives from the eyes — a technique called neuroplasticity — while also keeping the user engaged with positive reinforcement such as a point system. Carrot Neurotechnology, a company that works to produce tools that can improve vision, developed the app.
“What I've been able to do is take my research that started looking at very simple, basic science problems and turn it into a game that anybody that anybody can play that has real-world impacts,” Aaron Seitz, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, said in a UCR video.
Seitz tested the app's effectiveness on 19 UCR baseball players. Each athlete used UltimEyes 30 times for 25-minute intervals, resulting in an average 31 percent increase in eyesight, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology. Out of the 19 total players seven reached 20/7.5 vision, meaning they could see at 20 feet what someone with normal vision could from 7.5 feet.
Strikeouts from the 11 players who competed in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons decreased by 4.4 percent compared to other players in the Big West Conference whose rate went down less than one percent. Among other benefits, the athletes reported being able to see the ball better, improved peripheral vision and that their eyes didn't tire as easily. Everyday users with impaired vision who have used UltimEyes may have an easier time with activities such as reading, driving or watching TV.
“We're encouraged and excited by the broad range of lifestyle benefits that many individuals who rely on vision, including athletes, but also those with normal vision and low vision going about their routine tasks,” Adam Goldberg, CEO of Carrot Technology, said in a statement.
UltimEyes is iOS compatible and can be purchased for $5.99 in the App Store.
This article originally appeared onMashable .