Hacked 3D TV Glasses May Cure Lazy Eye

Lazy eye (technically Amblyopia) is a sight disorder that affects about 3% of the population where one eye is stronger than the other. Historically, treatment is via an eyepatch or special drops, but research shows that it may be better not to cover up the strong eye for long periods. It suggests that occluding the eye for short periods using a liquid crystal panel can yield better results. To that end, [Raninn] decided to hack some LCD glasses meant for 3D TV viewing to make a low-cost lazy eye treatment device.

This is his second version of [Raninn’s] glasses. The first one took two batteries and didn’t generate enough voltage for the LCD panels. The newer design uses a Dickson charge pump to generate a higher voltage from the battery and surface mount MOSFETs to switch voltages to the panels.

The write up is very complete with details about how to create even the PC board. He didn’t get into a lot of details about hacking the glasses. We assume that’s because your glasses may be different from his. These shutter glasses aren’t too complicated, you’ll just need to find the connections to the panel.

One of our favorite shutter glasses hacks came from [Dino] who built a set of automatic sunglasses for himself. Many of us wear glasses and for those with bifocals we keep waiting for an eyeglasses hack that makes automatic mult-focals a reality.

19 thoughts on “Hacked 3D TV Glasses May Cure Lazy Eye

  1. I had this condition back in 70s, and it was treated wth patches & rertina illumination bz special lamp (pulsed light, in th eophtalmologist office) – treatment took about 6-7 years in total and now I have 1.0 / 0.5 eyesight ( but as aftereffect really wide sight field and unability to see magic eye posters). Cool idea – would have spared me a lot of harrasment in the scool.

    1. I was disciplined and sent home from school for wearing the eyepatch. Stupid teacher refused to believe it was on doctor’s orders. Il’ll never forget the look on her face after my Mum chewed her out.

    2. And.. if you are in the US, the inability to tell if the stop-sign is before or after the line on a drivers exam. Luckily you have a 50/50 chance of getting that one right. :)
      Basically anything requiring normal depth perception doesn’t work anymore.

      One plus is an inherent advantage in very quickly/accurately judging distances in 3D games on a 2D monitor, as using just size to do so is now hard wired in your brain.

      1. I’m curious about why this would matter. Aren’t you supposed to stop at the line anyway? So as long as you stop prior to the line, you should be fine. Unless I’m missing something. :S

        1. It’s not about that.
          The test is a simple way to see if you have normal binocular vision or not.
          For the test, one eye gets just the line and the other eye gets just the stop sign. Normal binocular vision/depth perception will combine the two images without thought.
          If you don’t see one of the images, then they know you are only using one eye.
          In the case of people with less than perfect treatment for Amblyopia like myself, you’ll still see both images, but not both at the same time. They will switch out depending on your focus.

  2. I could find any link to research that this was better than (or equivalent to) a patch.

    Also, if the PCB is stuck on your forehead it’s one time that it’s definitely worth getting it made professionally rather than going for toner transfer.

  3. I’m suffering from Amblyopia which had been undetected until I was at the age of 14. They said it would be too late for treatment and so I am living with 1.1/0.3 eyesight. I wonder if it will be ever possible to cure this at superior age.

    1. Bien sur vous avez toujours la chance de guérir avec lanouvelle technologie vous pouvez voir les recherches de l’universite de Mc Gill-Canda et la société ubisoft. Bonne chance rien ne sera trop tard

  4. I have this, have no idea what my #/# is, my left eye slowly blacks out if right eye is covered. I see black dots between letters when reading a book, thus can only read for so long before I have to adjust my vision.

  5. Amblyopia means the brain is miswired for processing input from one or both eyes. It is possible to have binocular amblyopia as well as monocular amblyopia. Amblyopia occurs in children when something occludes one or both eyes (defocus, cataract, corneal disease, particular hairstyles, etc) and the brain cannot get the clear visual input it needs to develop the eye’s neural pathways correctly. The brain will compensate by paying attention to the remaining “good” eye if it’s monocular amblyopia. Treatment is usually done on kids and teens before the age of 20. Treating amblyopia involves firstly correcting whatever is interrupting vision (e.g. fitting proper glasses to correct defocus, cataract surgery, corneal surgery, etc) and secondly covering the good eye and forcing the brain to learn how to use the weak eye, aka. patching. Over the age of 20, this is very hard and very slow because the brain is no longer able to rewire itself as easily as a child’s and so most clinicians would not recommend patching for adults. strictly speaking, amblyopia is a diagnosis of exclusion that can only be made when the eye is functioning perfectly (no organic diseases causing blur) and already optically corrected with glasses. and is defined as a congenital, otherwise unexplained deficit in visual acuity. The only device you really need to have for patching is a piece of non-transparent material for blocking the stronger eye, and it does not need to alternate or be turned on and off by a microcontroller. Typically patching is prescribed as continuously for 2-4 hours per day for 3 months at a time. periodically uncovering or alternating the patch between eyes during those 2-4 hours is not useful.
    Now keep in mind this is just amblyopia. Beyond amblyopia, there are binocular vision disorders that can also be treated with glasses that can be alternatingly occludable like featured here. These exercises are for breaking down the brain’s preference for one eye and teaching it to integrate input from both eyes. For example, a child with monocular amblyopia will first get glasses, have patching, and then when amblyopia is gone and the visual acuities in both eyes are equal, exercises can be prescribed to teach the brain to integrate the two images and derive depth information. The brain will at first prefer the formerly good eye out of habit, but alternatingly occludable glasses can be used to force the brain to use the formerly weak eye and habitualize transitioning between eyes. This is only a very small phase of the entire treatment regimen for achieving binocular vision. Collectively this entire process is called vision therapy and can be done well into adulthood but will require increasingly diligent daily practice and effort the older you are. There are certainly easier exercises to do including occluding with the hands as opposed to buying or hacking together automatic glasses, but this is the use i see this device being useful for.
    With this in mind, plus the fact that [Rarinn] doesn’t look younger than 20, i really doubt he is using them to treat his amblyopia; and if he is trying, they are going to be of questionable efficacy. But I bet they are fun to wear though.

  6. Amblyopia treatment is a field under change right now, as suggested by the previous link title. There are now scientifically documented cases of success on patients with ages 60+, which was thought impossible. Certainly, neural plasticity decreases with age, but it doesn’t fully dissapear as previously understood. Secondly, patching was thought to be the treatment of reference, but now better results are achieved through more “intelligent/sophisticated” patching techniques, such as the one used by the original poster. Partial patching as allowed by glasses with different transparency between the lenses allows the stimulation of the lazy eye in both monocular and binocular fashion simultaneously, while classical/full patching doesn’t provide binocular stimulation which must be trained in a later phase of treatment, with worst results as we optometrists are starting now to discover. Anyway, as always on any health issue, search for a properly trained professional, because it’s a tricky field and, as said, under fast evolution right now.

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