Some diseases and physical disorders don’t really care if you’re young or old, but unfortunately, treatment does. You can’t, for example, perform surgery on extremely young or extremely old people, which severely limits what you can do before it’s too late. Some defects, such as strabismus, more popularly nicknamed “cross-eyed,” can become a major problem for adults and a long-term emotional wound for children. Some types of strabismus can, fortunately, be corrected by wearing special types of glasses, but this treatment can be ineffective and expensive over time. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, especially if you stretch the design a bit, like this device that looks like a VR headset, but is actually a portable therapy for children who suffer from this vision disorder.
Designer: Haechan Ryu
There are some vision disorders that can be corrected by wearing special glasses, particularly those that use a prism to redirect the way light enters the eye. For those with strabismus, this can help train the eyes until they return to a more natural position. The problem is that prism glasses have fixed angles, and as the wearer’s eyes adjust, the glasses must also be replaced. Of course, surgery is out of the question for children, so a more effective and cost-effective treatment is needed.
SWP, which stands for Simplicity With Professionalism, tries to provide that solution with a design that might look a little familiar now, even for kids. From the outside, the device looks a lot like virtual reality headsets like Meta Quest or HTC Vive. In fact, it may also use some of the same designs and mechanisms as regular headphones, particularly the way two lenses can be adjusted on the fly.
In the case of the SWP, there is a motorized prism inside the visor that can adjust the angle to match the severity of the wearer’s strabismus. A dial on the front can adjust the distance of the lens for the eyes, while the internal lenses rotate inward to exercise the eyes and correct this angle over time. Instead of replacing the glasses every time the squint angle changes, you only need to change the headset settings to continue the treatment.
Making the SWP look like a VR headset is no accident, of course. The suit offers a more distributed weight balance, so it won’t be too heavy for kids to wear. Of course, it will also be much lighter because it has fewer internal components to squeeze into that small space. It may even make children feel special for wearing such a device that adults play with, helping them to be more accepting of the treatment that will help correct their vision until it returns to normal.