Eye Controlled Computer Games for Disabled Children in the Works

Great news for children with disabilities who might not otherwise be able to use a mouse or a keyboard but want to play computer games.  Scientists at a university in the United Kingdom are developing new computer games that can be controlled by eye movements.  This will allow children who are severely disabled to play games.  Stephen Vickers, research lead, stated eye control "adds a whole new level of intelligence to games”.
Using eye tracking as a way of interacting with devices has been explored for a number of years, he noted, but his project is developing a more accessible, low-cost system, which will bring games into the reach of disabled children who cannot operate a mouse or keyboard.  They will be able to “push” buttons and direct a character by looking at different points on the screen.  In a spaceship game, he said, players can fire a gun by staring at a button.
In case you were wondering how it works, eye tracking uses an infrared light to identify where the eyes are looking and thus can measure the movements as the person looks around a computer screen.  By focusing on the on screen button, it simulates the same as using a mouse and cursor for the click button.
For more information, click here.

Buying Children's Glasses Online: Frugal or Unsafe?

Happy Ficklets Wearers!! According to a news story or a set of reports I just read, researchers found that nearly half of prescription glasses purchased online either contained the wrong lenses or did not meet the standards for impact testing.  If your child wears glasses, this is potentially a big deal considering the lens might be more predisposed to cracking and shattering.  This report was published last year in the journal of Optometry.  Keep in mind that it was a small study but the results might be worrisome for some parents.
The researchers ordered a total of 200 pairs of glasses from 10 of the most popular online retailers and evaluated 154 pairs they received.  The study does not state who these online retailers were or how they were able to come up with the criteria of "popular."   
Their findings included:
  • Instances where single vision lenses were received instead of multi-focal
  • Anti-reflection coatings were either incorrectly added or omitted.
  • In nearly a quarter of glasses, at least one lens failed impact testing which is required due to glasses being deemed a medical device requiring a prescription per the FDA.

Additionally, "a lens might be slightly off in the optics; if you don't have someone verify (the prescription), you might not know it's wrong," said Karl Citek, a professor of optometry at the Pacific University College of Optometry and lead author of the study.  Citek does not recommend buying eyeglasses online. Vendors generally don't call your doctor to verify prescriptions, but even that "can't ensure that the lenses are safe since a doctor has no way of assessing impact resistance for finished eyewear," he said.
According to the Vision Council, a trade group for the optical industry, 1.9 million pairs were bought online in 2010, about 2.8 percent of the total 66.8 million pairs bought in the United States.
All is not lost if you really need to save money as Citek recommends asking your doctor to verify the prescription and to adjust the frame once you've received the glasses. Doctors may charge for this.  He also stated, "never order children's eyewear online," he said. The study finding that one in four pairs of children's eyewear failed impact resistance testing is "unconscionable," said Citek.

Read more: Eyeglasses bought online not always what doctor ordered | Aiken Standard
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March Gift Card Gala 3/7 - 3/13


Do-It-Yourself Eye Test?

EyeNETRA logo

Yes, you read it correctly!  A do-it-yourself eye test will be available compliments of EyeNetra.  EyeNetra created this inexpensive tool that runs around $2~ and it's a plastic device that snaps onto a smartphone.  Just 'snap the Netra-G adapter onto a smartphone loaded with Netra-G software, follow the simple instructions, and quickly receive the measurements for your eyeglasses on the phone. NETRA-G measures nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It fits snugly in a pocket and requires minimal training to operate.'  NETRA stands for Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment.  The way it works is you look through the device and use the arrows to align the patterns displayed.  

According to the company, 'the act of aligning the patterns gives a measure of the optical distortions of those regions and any required refractive correction is computed.  It can diagnose and provide a refraction regardless of whether you are near-sighted, far-sighted, or have astigmatism or presbyopia.  This easy-to-use device can be used for DIY eye exams and by minimally trained individuals in areas of the world where optometrists are not accessible and/or affordable.'

Netra is a portable, easy to use, effective system.

It's not available yet but it will be tested in markets this year in Brazil, India and Mexico and the United States will follow at some point.

Ficklets Loves Their Fans

We received new photos of a couple of beautiful little girls wearing their new Ficklets.  


Ficklets' goal is to get children to love their glasses so please keep sending us your photos and we look forward to hearing your feedback!

New Technology Revolutionizes Vision Care in Pediatric Offices

A new vision screener called Spot is being unveiled to pediatricians to help children ensure they are seeing properly.  It is estimated that over 12.5 million school age children struggle with reading books or seeing the blackboard.  Spot is reported in assessing a child's vision with accuracy, unmatched speed and delivery while providing immediate comprehensive results.  Efficiency is the key with Spot as it can capture the results in one second or less thus allowing for quicker exams as well as exams to larger audiences such as health fairs.

Spot is a hand held device with no wires so it is highly mobile.  The conversation around those who have already used Spot is glowing from Liz Moore, practicing manager at Middleton Pediatrics.

"The children have been very receptive to the screening," said Moore. "Typically, a manual screening takes several minutes to check a child's vision, however Spot allows us to capture an accurate result in just a few seconds. It is a short process designed to get their attention with lights and sounds, making it easy for our team to use."

"The children have been very receptive to the screening," said Moore. "Typically, a manual screening takes several minutes to check a child's vision, however Spot allows us to capture an accurate result in just a few seconds. It is a short process designed to get their attention with lights and sounds, making it easy for our team to use."

About PediaVision PediaVision is dedicated to solving the critical problem of undiagnosed vision problems and transforming the lives of thousands of children each day. Automated and objective vision screening empowers organizations in public health and private medicine to positively affect the outcomes of a child's education performance.
Supported by ophthalmologists, optometrists, scientists and leading technology innovators, the Spot vision screener is breakthrough technology and represents what vision screening should be.  For more information, including how to order Spot, please visit www.pediavision.com
Source:  PediaVision

Ficklets:  Eyewear charm huggers for children's glasses.

Vision App: Five Reasons for Having an Eye Examination

iPhone Screenshot 1
Apps are every where you turn.  There is an app for about everything under the sun so it didn't surprise me there is an app for vision and it's called Vision by AppZap.  For a simple 99 cent download, it provides information and help, tests and fun and eye exercises.  I haven't tried it out yet but I think it is one I will try for the eye exercise component.

I checked out the customer reviews and they have an overwhelming great response to the medical categorized app.

There is even an app to produce a Snellen Chart.  It's strongly suggested that it's not an entertainment app rather one for doctors and other medical care professionals.  EyeChart is a free app.

Have you tried any eye specific apps?  If so, please share what you thought about them and if there is one that isn't listed, share that!  

Vision Disability Number One Health Issue in Schools

Photo Courtesy of kidexam
According to a new report, vision disability is the number one health issue in schools.  Florida's VisionQuest found that at least 43% of the school population required eye glasses.  This number is high and scary given how many children might be suffering with poor grades due to their inability to see properly.  Earning good grades could affect a child's self-esteem and more.  VisionQuest is a non-profit started by Nancy Jeppesen in 1994 to help this unmet need.

"The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that vision disability is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children. Approximately 80 percent(1) of what children learn in their early school years is visual, so if they can't see a teacher's writing on the blackboard, they will struggle. 
Today, of all school-age children across America, 25 percent suffer from a vision problem,(2) that is 12.5 million children who may be unable to see the blackboard or read their textbooks.  Research shows that of the children in the 9 to 15 year-old age group only 10 percent of those who needed glasses actually had them.(3)"

To read the entire article, click here on VisionQuest.