Amblyopia Rehabilitation by Games for Low-Cost Virtual Reality Visors

  • Silvia Bonfanti
  • Angelo GargantiniEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 665)


Amblyopia is the partial or complete loss of vision in one eye (called lazy eye). It can be prevented by adequate treatment during the first years of young age. However, the classical therapy of eye patching suffers from a low compliance that can harm the treatment. To increase compliance, we have devised a system based on the combined use of low cost virtual reality visors, like the Google Cardboard, and ad hoc developed games for smartphones. Our system exploits the visor in order to send to the lazy eye an enhanced version of the gaming image while it sends to the normal eye a weakened version of the same image. In this way, the lazy eye must work more than the normal eye. We present here the principles, some issues we encountered, the integration of the games with a service that collects the data, and two games, namely a car racing and a tetris game.


Amblyopia Cardboard Virtual reality visor Rehabilitation Android Mobile games 



Authors would like to thank Fabio Terzi and Matteo Zambelli for their work on this project.


  1. 1.
    Achtman, R., Green, C., Bavelier, D.: Video games as a tool to train visual skills. Restor. Neurol. Neurosci. 26(4–5), 435–446 (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bonfanti, S., Gargantini, A., Vitali, A.: A mobile application for the stereoacuity test. In: Duffy, V.G. (ed.) DHM 2015. LNCS, vol. 9185, pp. 315–326. Springer, Cham (2015). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-21070-4_32 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    David, P.: Google cardboard is vr’s gateway drug. Wired (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gargantini, A., Bana, M., Fabiani, F.: Using 3D for rebalancing the visual system of amblyopic children. In: 2011 International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR), Zurich, pp. 1–7, June 2011Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gargantini, A., Facoetti, G., Vitali, A.: A random dot stereo acuity test based on 3D technology. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare - 2nd Patient Rehabilitation Research Techniques Workshop, PervasiveHealth 2014, pp. 358–361, ICST, Brussels, Belgium, Belgium, May 2014. ICST (Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering) (2014)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gargantini, A., Terzi, F., Zambelli, M., Bonfanti, S.: A low-cost virtual reality game for amblyopia rehabilitation. In: Proceedings of REHAB, the 3rd 2015 Workshop on ICTs for Improving Patients Rehabilitation Research Techniques (REHAB 2015), pp. 81–84, New York, NY, USA. ACM (2015)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rastegarpour, A.: A computer-based anaglyphic system for the treatment of amblyopia. Clin Ophthalmol. 5, 1319–1323 (2011). doi: 10.2147/opth.s25074. epub 2011 sep 16 2011 (Auckland, N.Z.)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Statt, N.: Facebook has oculus, Google has cardboard (2015). Accessed 7 Oct 2015
  9. 9.
    Suttle, C.M.: Active treatments for amblyopia: a review of the methods and evidence base. Clin. Exp. Optometry 93, 287–299 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    To, L., Thompson, B., Blum, J.R., Maehara, G., Hess, R.F., Cooperstock, J.R.: A game platform for treatment of amblyopia. IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng. 19(3), 280–289 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Vitali, A., Facoetti, G., Gargantini, A.: An environment for contrast-based treatment of amblyopia using 3D technology. In: International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation 2013, August 26–29, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA, USA (2013)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Waddingham, P.E., Cobb, S.V., Eastgate, R.M., Gregson, R.M.: Virtual reality for interactive binocular treatment of amblyopia. In: The Sixth International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies (2006)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Webber, A.L., Wood, J.: Amblyopia: prevalence, natural history, functional effects and treatment. Clin. Exp. Optometry 88(6), 365–375 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wei, H., Zhao, Y., Dong, F., Saleh, G., Ye, X., Clapworthy, G.: A cross-platform approach to the treatment of ambylopia. In: 2013 IEEE 13th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering (BIBE), pp. 1–4. IEEE (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università degli Studi di BergamoBergamoItaly

Personalised recommendations