The app teaching people over the age of 40 to take off their reading glasses and see clearly again within a matter of months, if they have the discipline for a rigid training program. Stuart McDill reports.
Whether it's reading an email or sending a text - if you're over 40 you may need reading glasses. Now with the GlassesOff training app you can transform your smart phone from problem to solution. Judith Schwartz says she never got used to wearing glasses - and thanks to the app - she doesn't need to anymore. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) JUDITH SCHWARTZ, GLASSESOFF USER WHO GOT RID OF HER READING GLASSES, SAYING: "GlassesOff simply changed my life. I sit in a cafe with my friends, most of them nine years younger than me, they all use reading glasses. I'm the only one sitting without glasses, reading the menus, sending text messages, reading the newspaper freely without any assistance." GlassesOff is a training program that stimulates the part of the brain responsible for image processing. It uses 'Gabor Images' - blurry little marks on the screen that get smaller and harder to see. Gym membership for the eyes - according to GlassesOff founder Shai Novik. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAIN AND CO-FOUNDER OF GLASSESOFF, SHAI NOVIK, SAYING: "it's not easy. This is as I said high-end visual exercises that drain you out, you know, 15 minutes, you have to rest for 15 minutes later. It's very very difficult. but if you do it, you can get free. Just be free of your need to wear reading glasses. And for a large part of the population, that is something that is very critical for them". The company claims a 90 percent success rate - according to co-founder and Neuroscience Professor Uri Polat. - who says the training improves the brain rather than the eyes. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-FOUNDER OF GLASSESOFF AND HEAD OF SCHOOL OF OPTOMETRY AND VISUAL SCIENCE IN BAR ILAN UNIVERSITY, PROFESSOR URI POLAT, SAYING: "What we're doing actually, we work on connectivity between the neurons. This is what I discovered that we need to see contours, so we need to connect neurones to see better contours (of the Gabor Images), we increase the efficiency of the neurons so everything become to be more efficient and faster. And we improve the processing speed of the brain. And by this, the brain can see more images at the same time so you can do more processing, within the same time it will be much more efficient." Users are encouraged to commit to the programme for 3 months - at a cost of nearly $25 dollars... ...and an extra $60 dollars for the following 12 months - to maintain any improvement.