K. Krösl (2021)

Simulating Vision Impairments in XR

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Virtual Reality and Computer Graphics (VECG) Seminar Series. Invited Talk


There are at least 2.2 billion people affected by vision impairments worldwide, and the number of people suffering from common eye diseases like cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, which show a higher prevalence with age, is expected to rise in the years to come, due to factors like aging of the population. Medical publications, ophthalmologists, and patients can give some insight into the effects of vision impairments, but for people with normal eyesight (even medical personnel), it is often hard to grasp how certain eye diseases can affect perception. We need to understand and quantify the effects of vision impairments on perception, to design cities, buildings, or lighting systems that are accessible for people with vision impairments. Conducting studies on vision impairments in the real world is challenging, because it requires a large number of participants with exactly the same type of impairment. Such a sample group is often hard or even impossible to find, since not every symptom can be assessed precisely and the same eye disease can be experienced very differently between affected people. This talk will address these issues and present a methodology to simulate various vision impairments, which allows us to conduct user studies in VR or AR, with people with healthy eyesight and graphically simulated vision impairments.