Internet-based mail order spectacle company Warby Parker has released an iPhone app that may be able to go some way to replace the need for a visit to an optometrist for some people, although likely not all.

As this is people’s eyesight we are talking about here though, there are certainly some important things to note.

Warby Parker’s app claims to be able to give users a sight test in their own home using an iPhone and computer, removing the need to visit an optometrist and speeding up the delivery of spectacles as a result.

Has your eyeglasses prescription expired? Want to take a vision test at home? Well, welcome! Introducing Warby Parker Prescription Check. This is our brand-spanking-new mobile refraction service that, if you are eligible, allows an eye doctor to assess your vision and provide an updated eyeglasses prescription. (Is there anything your phone can’t do?!)

However, according to Engadget, there are plenty of situations in which Warby Parker admits that its app is not going to be much use to you – perhaps in fear of being sued into oblivion.

You’re between 18 and 40 and live in a state that has the company’s program (NY, CA, FL and VA so far). You also need to be a current Warby Parker customer, have no history of eye disease, have had a comprehensive exam within the last five years and only need a single-vision distance prescription (no bifocals, please). Oh, and your prescription can only have a current lens strength (SPH) between 0 and -6.0 and an astigmatism value (CYL) between 0 and -2.0.

So basically, so long as you’re short sighted – but not too much – and only have a relatively mild astigmatism, you’re golden. Oh, and you have to be the right age, and only looking for single-vision spectacles rather than progressives or bifocals. Also, you need to live in the right area.

Still, this is a start and perhaps an early step in the direction of us eventually being able to order spectacles and contact lenses from home without needing to visit a professional, although we suspect the professionals involved may have something to say about that!

If you want to check the app out regardless of its limitations, Prescription Check is a free download from the App Store for a limited time.

(Download: Prescription Check for iPhone on the App Store)

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