After months of staring at computers for remote learning and work-from-home, all of our eyes are probably suffering a bit, but getting to the optometrist’s office may still not be high on your list of things to do. EyeQue may be solution that is needed – they have developed at-home vision testing that is affordable and easy to administer. Of course, these assessments do not replace a licensed optometrist or issue prescriptions; they do measure and track changes between the regular eye exams that everyone should have as part of caring for themselves and their families.
EyeQue Vision Monitoring Kit
The Vision Monitoring Kit includes the three items that can be used to monitor the need for glasses or a prescription. The items could be bought separately, but a discount is applied when purchasing everything together, which makes sense as the complete kit allows users to collect and analyze a wide spectrum of data. All of the items utilize a smartphone to both administer tests and analyze the data, bringing the cost of the test down by offloading the processing to a device that users already have.
The largest piece of the kit is the EyeQue Insight Plus, which looks a bit like a VR headset, a single item that collects data on three separate visual quantifiers in a manner similar to the binocular tests that are used at optometrist’s offices. The device can fit over the user’s existing glasses, which would indicate if the existing prescription needs to be updated. The most notably, the Insight device (when paired with a smartphone) can test for visual acuity: determining if the user requires glasses or if current glasses/contacts need to be updated. The Insight device also tests for contrast sensitivity (which makes driving in low light or with glare difficult and can indicate certain conditions like glaucoma and cataracts) and color deficiency or color blindness. Regular testing will monitor changes in vision, which is all sharable with a doctor during professional exams.
The binocular system that is inside the Insight Plus uses a smartphone to administer and display the tests, making it an inherently scalable platform that could easily support additional tests if they were added in the future. A wireless remote control allows easy control during test taking (especially for small hands or those with low dexterity) and the binocular hardware allows the Insight to be a useful monitoring tool for users as young as six years old.
The EyeQue VisionCheck is a small device that synchronizes with a smartphone (via Bluetooth) to measure the refraction error of each eye and report the lens power needed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism — the same type of measurements that form a prescription. The VisionCheck uses the Inverse Shack Hartmann optical method, similar to what is used in the autorefractor device that is usually used by optometrists, to provide accurate measurements. EyeQue calls these dimensions “EyeGlass Numbers”” (EGNs), which includes user’s sphere, cylinder and axis measurements; which are used when ordering prescription glasses or contacts. The need for highly accurate measurements based on the user’s vision necessitates that that VisionCheck is designed for adults 25 or older.
The final piece of the kit is a pupillary distance (PD) measurement tool, PDCheck. It accurately captures the distance between a user’s pupils in seconds by measuring special marks on a generic pair of white frames against the user’s pupils through a selfie on the application. During a conversation with the team at EyeQue, I was told that the PDCheck has gained a reputation as perhaps the most accurate pupillary distance measurement tool available.
Breaking News! EyeQue Try-On Glasses
When purchasing clothing online, there is usually a no-risk guarantee — obviously, that would be a huge risk with prescription eyeglasses. A new program from EyeQue uses the “EyeGlass Number” from the VisionCheck and pupillary distance (PD) results to order low-cost eyeglasses – ensuring a quick, affordable way to know exactly how well new glasses purchased using your EyeGlass Numbers will perform.
EyeQue Try-On Glasses are simple single-vision glasses, a detachable bi-focal option will be offered for a small additional fee. Since the eyeglasses are produced at EyeQue Corporate headquarters in California, delivery time is estimated to be less than a week. The EyeQue Try-On Glasses are available for order starting today to customers (US only) who test for their own EyeGlass Numbers through their EyeQue system for $19 (including free shipping).
Our mission is to make vision screening and correction easy and accessible to everyone. Our at-home refraction tests empower consumers to use the results to order new glasses without having to leave home. This new offering of Try-On Glasses gives our customers a fast, affordable way to know exactly how well new glasses purchased using their EyeGlass Numbers will perform for them.
— John Serri, PhD., co-founder and president of EyeQue
Consumers happy with their Try-Ons can order higher priced glasses from various online retailers using the same EGNs.
See the Big Picture
We were able to test the entire EyeQue Vision Monitoring Kit for ourselves (it was provided to us for the purposes of this review; all opinions are our own) and found that the testing process was exactly as promised. The concept of testing every member of the family regularly, not just once a year at an eye examination with the optometrist is very appealing, especially with school-aged children in the house, when seeing clearly can so dramatically affect their academic progress.
The Insight Plus device was provided tests that were easy to administer and were familiar, and even younger users were able to follow the instructions and complete the tests. Similarly, the PD Check was exceedingly simple, and it is obvious why EyeQue’s device is so accurate. Using the VisionCheck device does require a bit more time, as running through the testing process three times is required before the application will return an Eyeglass Number; I can only assume this is to mitigate any inconsistencies between tests. The VisionCheck test requires users to maintain focus through the eyepiece for a few minutes on each eye, we found that the effort did make our eyes tired by the end of the test. The effort is necessary though, since using the VisionCheck is required to an Eyeglass Number and order glasses.
The EyeQue Vision Monitoring Kit was awarded a CES 2020 Innovation Award. EyeQue VisionCheck and Personal Vision Tracker have also each previously earned CES Innovation Awards (2019 and 2017). The entire EyeQue system is available on their website at www.eyeque.com.