Can a video game app improve your vision? Let’s see…

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My mom always told me that my vision would get worse from sitting too close to a screen and playing video games — not better. But according to the FTC, Carrot Neurotechnology said you could improve your vision by buying and playing its $9.99 Ultimeyes video game app. People bought the app because they believed it would help them see better, but in a case announced today, the FTC says there isn’t enough scientific proof that the app will work.

Ultimeyes ads said the game could improve your vision by 31%, Image from Ultimeyes advertisementtwo lines on the eye chart, and even “turn back the clock on your vision” and reverse “aging eye.” The ads also said the game app could help people of all ages see better for reading, watching TV, driving, night vision, and playing sports.                                         

The reality? The company doesn’t have enough scientific evidence to prove these claims, the FTC says in its complaint, and it’s deceptive to sell something based on claims that aren’t backed by proper science. The FTC recently settled with Carrot Neurotechnology and its owners, and they agreed not to make vision improvement and other claims without scientific proof.

If you’re looking for health-related apps — or other products or services — keep in mind that some companies may overstate claims in their advertising. Think critically when you see ads that make scientific or medical claims, or ask your healthcare professional. Check out our featured health information to learn more about decoding ads for health-related products.

Tagged with: advertising, app, game, health
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Health & Fitness

Comments

Dear Aditi, I have to ask whether you are a vision scientist? I am. I have seen the scientific work on which the claims for this app are based and have to question the criteria by which you claim it not to be good enough. While the studies published were not clinical trials, they were standard scientific studies for the field. They were peer-reviewed and deemed acceptable for publication in 3 separate, scientific journals with high standing in the field of visual neuroscience, which were presented to the FTC as evidence in this case. The peer-review process that these 3 studies were subjected to, and passed, is in line with the scientific peer-review process that evaluates research funding by the NIH and NSF at the federal level. And I should mention that the NIH an NSF have funded for decades research that demonstrates that computer training can improve many different aspects of vision. So, it seems to me that the FTC is making a judgement that our scientific process - all the way from study design to peer review - is not good enough science. As a vision scientist, I consider this extremely troubling.

You can read about the basis of the FTC’s charges against Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc. and its co-owners in the press release and related case material.

The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment through October 19, 2015. After that time, the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Comments can be submitted electronically.

sad

Scams happen a lot to get us to buy products

It's good you aware people about misleading advertising (most of them). Maybe, and just "maybe" this app. make you more focus, and with this "brain trick" you might think your eyes are better when the truth is you are paying more attention.

can video game app improve your vision:It actually depends on individuals visions.but to me games on legislature can improve my vision playin constantly when i have battrie too.thank you

Competition in market place just because a product says it will help doesn't mean it will .

It's worth a shot

You certainly do have to take these kinds of claims with a pinch of salt. Maybe it does help improve vision but it likely will not - how can it, really? The important thing for healthy vision is to have regular eye exams, wear the right corrective glasses if you need them, eat a healthy diet and avoid eye strain (don't spend long periods of time on a computer without a break, for example.)

interesting, thanks!

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