This app can be just as accurate as an optometrist exam. (Photo: Ken Teegardin/Flickr)

Now you can use a smartphone to figure out your eyeglass prescription

Developers of new app say it's as accurate as visiting an eye doctor.

The days of sitting in an optometrist's office with a weird machine over your eyes may be a thing of the past. A new company has developed a technology that lets users figure out their eye prescriptions using a simple, but possibly, life-changing app.

6over6, a startup based in Israel, presented its technology at a health conference in Tel Aviv yesterday. They won the conference's startup contest for its GlassesOn app, which lets you "accurately measure the refractive error of your eye through the manipulation of light," says the company website. You can use the app to get a complete prescription for farsighted or nearsighted vision, pupillary distance and astigmatism. (Of course, you may still want to see your eye doctor about general eye health.)

“We use light-based tech to discover eyesight instead of sitting in front of the refractor machine," Ofer Limon, CEO of 6over6, explains. The app uses a combination of math, physics, vision technology and advanced algorithms.

Limon and a friend came up with the idea while on a bike ride in southern Israel. After years of testing, it's now available in Apple's App Store.

"With our technology, a user could put their phone in front of their eyes for a few minutes, and get as accurate a reading as they could at the optician, if not more so, since there are no subjective feelings or environmental factors involved in our measurement," Limon says.

The company hopes that in addition to making things easier for consumers to care for their eyes, its technology will help those who can't afford to see optometrists.

“There are hundreds of millions of people in the world who need corrective lenses of some kind but cannot afford them,” Limon says. “We intend to donate our technology to international organizations that are supplying glasses to these disenfranchised people, many of whom do have access to smartphones."


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