If your vision's not so good, you can wear glasses or contacts or maybe have a laser procedure to sharpen things up. But don't count on Ultimeyes, a smartphone app that claimed it could improve users' vision.
The app's promoters, Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc., has agreed to pay $150,000 and stop making claims not supported by scientific evidence.
“This case came down to the simple fact that ‘Ultimeyes’ promoters did not have the scientific evidence to support their claims that the app could improve users' vision,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Health-related apps can offer benefits to consumers, but the FTC will not hesitate to act when health-related claims are not based on sound science.”
According to the FTC’s complaint, since 2012, Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc. advertised and sold Ultimeyes on the company’s website and through third-party app stores including the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, claiming it is “scientifically shown to improve vision.”
"Turn back the clock"
Ads for Ultimeyes stated that the app, which sells for between $5.99 and $9.99, would “Turn Back The Clock On Your Vision.” The ads further claimed that users would benefit from “comprehensive vision improvement” for activities such as sports, reading and driving, and that using the app would reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses.
The app is based on a series of visual exercises related to reading speed, contrast sensitivity, and low light conditions among other elements.
The ads further claimed that studies, including those conducted by Aaron Seitz, prove Ultimeyes works. The FTC alleges that Seitz’s studies and other “scientific research” do not prove Ultimeyes improves vision. The FTC also alleges the marketers failed to disclose Seitz’s affiliation with the company when touting his studies in advertising.