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I came across the Ultimeyes app and am very concerned many people will be throwing away their money.

ULTIMEYES® is a non-invasive interactive program designed specifically to improve vision by optimizing visual processing in just four simple 25-minute sessions per week for a total duration of eight weeks.

[...]

Contrast sensitivity, which is the visual skill that enables you to distinguish objects in dim light and against obscure backgrounds, increased dramatically among users in these studies.

UltimEyes presents you with the increasingly difficult challenge of identifying faint and fuzzy Gabor stimuli, which are shown against a hazy, gray background. Among other tests, the blurry blobs might slowly materialize on the screen, or you might be tasked to find multiple blobs as they grow slightly less faint. It isn't exactly fun, but it's challenging, and the sessions are short.

I have heard of eye exercises before such as looking "past" something then look at that object very near to your eyes.

In a study published this week in the journal Current Biology (Supplemental data and procedures), Seitz worked with 19 players on the University of California, Riverside, baseball team, and showed that his app UltimEyes lengthened the distance at which the players could see clearly by an average of 31 percent. After using the app for 30 25-minute intervals, players saw an improvement that pushed many of them beyond normal 20/20 vision, including seven who attained freakishly good 20/7.5 vision—meaning that at a distance of 20 feet, they were clearly seeing what someone with normal vision could see at no farther than 7.5 feet away.

Is this a scientifically supported claim?

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    The iPad app currently has a 1.5 stars (out of 5) rating, based on 187 reviews. That is not a very encouraging sign. The reviews consistently say that the app, as of Feb 2014, is non-functional (not that it works but ineffective). – Larry OBrien Feb 19 '14 at 19:25
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    What I have seen on this says that you need to use it a minimum of 30 times before you see an improvement. That and the fact that it apparently has some log in bugs could be the reasons why it has a low rating in the app store. – Cruril Feb 19 '14 at 22:19
  • Their website is also currently down - I'd like to try it out, but this is not encouraging! – bguiz Feb 20 '14 at 2:07
  • @bguiz: Working for me, now. – Oddthinking Feb 22 '14 at 1:36
  • I find it difficult to believe that use of a single screen at a fixed distance could in any way train for vastly enhanced binocular acuity as claimed. I'm familiar with the training being pioneered in Macular Degeneration, with regards increasing the effectiveness of peripheral vision usage, [link]visibility.org.uk/what-we-do/services/…) or eccentric reading as it's called. A family member has shown marked increase in coping and in reading, due to no noted decrease in her condition. Essentially the improvement is in visual processing by practice. – We are Monica. Feb 28 '14 at 22:24
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Referring to FTC, the California-based marketers Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc. and its co-owners have agreed to stop making deceptive claims that their software application '“Ultimeyes” for mobile devices and personal computers can improve users’ vision in order to settle FTC charges under the terms of a proposed settlement of $150,000.

Quoting Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, "“This case came down to the simple fact that ‘Ultimeyes’ promoters did not have the scientific evidence to support their claims that the app could improve users' vision and “Health-related apps can offer benefits to consumers, but the FTC will not hesitate to act when health-related claims are not based on sound science.”

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protected by Community Feb 24 '14 at 6:28

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