Effects of VR-Displays on Visual Acuity


When putting on a virtual-reality head-mounted display (VR HMD) our natural visual acuity is reduced when compared to reality. This reduction is caused by multiple factors, one of the major causes being the resolution of the VR display, which limits our ability to recognize small details. In eyesight tests, conducted in VR, the best values for visual acuity, that users could achieve, already correspond to a mild visual impairment.

The goal of this project is to find out if putting on a VR HMD affects the visual acuity of everybody in the same way or if and how it depends on the visual acuity of an individual person.

We use a HTC Vive and build upon an existing project, done in Unreal Engine 4, which already provides a VR simulation with a prototypical eyesight test and logging functionality to record user study data.


  • Adapt our UE4 project, so you can use its eyesight test und recording functionality for your own user study.
  • Improve the existing eyesight test. (Turn the eyesight test into a psychophysiological experiment by "zeroing in" on the threshold that represents the just recognizable feature at a certain distance.)
  • Conduct a user study, using the VR eyesight test as well as an online eyesight test on a computer screen as baseline.
  • Do literature research on possible factors that could influence the human vision in virtual reality, with focus on visual acuity.
  • Determine a minimum feature size that is recognizable in VR and how it is influenced by any factors that affect visual acuity in VR.


  • Knowledge of English language (source code comments and final report should be in English)
  • Knowledge of C++
  • Knowledge of Unreal Engine 4 is advantageous (You will work on an existing UE4 project. There are plenty of tutorials to get familiar with UE4. However, if you have never worked with UE4 before, you need to take into account that this means additional effort to get to know the engine.)


The project should be implemented in an existing Unreal Engine 4 project, using C++ code and Blueprints.


For more information please contact Katharina Krösl (kkroesl@cg.tuwien.ac.at).