Turkish university researchers develop online game to help visually impaired

AA Photo

Scholars at a university in Turkey's capital have developed an online game to help sight-impaired people improve their vision, official Anadolu Agency (AA) said Wednesday.

Computer experts developed the game, called "Gözcu" or Spotter, to allow visually impaired people to make eye movements to improve their sight, Kürşat Çağıltay, a computer professor at Middle East Technical University (ÖDTÜ), told AA.

"The user is able to make eye exercises with different games in categories such as focusing, jumping, following, and central and peripheral vision," Çağıltay said.

In the games, the user can burst balloons or move a ball towards a goal by focusing with their eyes.

"So this enables users to look at a spot and focus for quite a while, and it's clear if they're looking there on purpose or not," he explained.

The 24/7 availability of the online platform encourages users to do the exercises whenever they want.

"The system doesn't need a tutor for exercises, as they can be done at home," Çağıltay said.

If a user's vision gets better, the games adjust to get harder, plus the system can report back to the doctor how well the user does, he added.

Çağıltay said they founded a company called Eyesoft at ÖDTÜ's Teknokent, the university's technology development zone, dedicated to helping the sight impaired, and the system is now in trials and should be available in mid-2018.

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