Our son was born with strabismus, commonly known as “lazy eye,” in which the eyes do not track together and typically one eye is turned inward. Part of the treatment involves wearing an eye patch over the “good” eye to strengthen the muscles in the weaker one. I can tell you that in spite of the romantic reputation of pirates, getting a three-year-old to wear an eye patch for any length of time on a regular basis can be a challenge.
A company called XPAND has tackled this problem. The company makes active and passive eyewear for viewing stereoscopic 3D images, such as movies shown at your local cinema or on your home 3D television. Their researchers took the same LCD shutter technology used for active 3D glasses and applied it create rechargeable goggles that will only block the vision of one eye at a time. The result is Amblyz glasses. They are designed so that the LCD shutter lens will gradually fade from transparent to black and back again. They even have inserts that accept standard prescription lenses so that a child does not have to wear the goggles in addition to the normal corrective glasses. They are lightweight and built for the active life of a young child. They even have a strap to help keep them in place, even when hanging upside down on the playground monkey bars.
This simple application of existing technology for health care purposes can help make treatment easier and more effective than the traditional eye patch method.