Earlier this week, the glasses company everyone loves, Warby Parker, launched a new app called Prescription Check that lets you check your vision without having to swing by the optometrist.
It’s actually pretty neat how they did it, too
In order to administer the Snellen eye exam (the one with the big “E” up top), you need a phone, a computer, and a credit card.
The app launches on both the phone and computer, and has you set the card in the bottom right corner of a computer screen that the phone app “sees” to measure distance and tell you where to stand for the test.
Like we said, neat — but there are some hidden costs
While Warby Parker’s motivations are clear — help people buy glasses online faster with less friction — cutting out doctors has some serious concerns.
For example, by self-administering an eye exam, patients miss out on in-person screening for something more serious, like glaucoma.
But Warby’s trying to do it the right way
This app isn’t meant to be a full replacement for going to the optometrist… yet. In fact, it’s only available for people between 18 and 40 in 4 states who are already WP customers.
Plus, after a doctor reviews the results, they can only offer a prescription if there’s clearly no change in vision.
Otherwise you gotta do it the old fashioned way, with a half day of work and some afternoon ice cream.