Strabismus also called crossed eyes, is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. It affects nearly 4 percent of the entire population. If Strabismus is not treated in the early childhood, It leads to several eye disorders like Diplopia and Amblyopia. The inspiration to build this project was drawn after closely witnessing a beloved family member who still suffers from Amblyopia and unfortunately could not regain full strength in his left eye. With the current research work in this area, We understand that if Strabismus is treated early, it can prevent the onslaught of several such conditions. Therefore, We developed a fun and engaging VR game which works by training both eyes while concentrating on the weaker eye and can be played by children and adults alike.
What it does
We developed a simple and fun game which can be played in the VR environment. The game asks the user to shoot at ducks which increase in number as the user progresses through different levels. The speed of the motion of these ducks also increases on the screen with each level. The game forces the user to coordinate using both eyes, thereby providing a perception of depth. Further, we decrease the signal strength of objects in the strong eye and increase it for the weak eye to make it easier for them to work together. Each week a little less help is required, so the difference between the eyes gets smaller and smaller. We also collect all this data and visualize it in Tableau which helps us in understanding the user progress, hit/miss ratio at each level and time taken by the user at each level.
How we built it
The game was designed and developed using C# on the unity platform and runs on the Oculus-Rift VR device. A backend layer built on Node JS captures live metrics from the game and stores this data in MySQL Database. This data is then pulled into Tableau desktop and visualized using different plots to discern the progress of the player.
Challenges we ran into
The major challenge was to understand and properly implement the research findings on which we based our app. The research paper "Stepping into the virtual unknown: the feasibility study of a virtual reality-based test of ocular misalignment" recommends ways to test Strabismus using VR. Being fairly new to Unity, we faced issues with left and right eye sync and coordination in VR and designing the hit and miss in the game. We also struggled with implementing Leap Motion into our game. We planned to make it more interactive using that but we were not able to do it due to lack of external controllers for Oculus.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Figuring out the way to implement the recommendations of the research paper. Making a game similar to one of our favorite childhood game "Duck Hunt". Completing the development in time.
What we learned
We learned about Unity, VR and developing games on VR. We learned about visualization using Tableau.
What's next for TreatStrabismus
We would integrate leap motion with this game to make it more interactive.