A VR-based user study on the effects of vision impairments on recognition distances of escape-route signs in buildings

Katharina Krösl, Dominik Bauer, Michael Schwärzler, Henry Fuchs, Michael Wimmer, Georg Suter
A VR-based user study on the effects of vision impairments on recognition distances of escape-route signs in buildings
The Visual Computer, 34(6-8):911-923, April 2018. [Paper]

Information

Abstract

In workplaces or publicly accessible buildings, escape routes are signposted according to official norms or international standards that specify distances, angles and areas of interest for the positioning of escape-route signs. In homes for the elderly, in which the residents commonly have degraded mobility and suffer from vision impairments caused by age or eye diseases, the specifications of current norms and standards may be insufficient. Quantifying the effect of symptoms of vision impairments like reduced visual acuity on recognition distances is challenging, as it is cumbersome to find a large number of user study participants who suffer from exactly the same form of vision impairments. Hence, we propose a new methodology for such user studies: By conducting a user study in virtual reality (VR), we are able to use participants with normal or corrected sight and simulate vision impairments graphically. The use of standardized medical eyesight tests in VR allows us to calibrate the visual acuity of all our participants to the same level, taking their respective visual acuity into account. Since we primarily focus on homes for the elderly, we accounted for their often limited mobility by implementing a wheelchair simulation for our VR application.

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BibTeX

@article{Kathi-2018-VRB,
  title =      "A VR-based user study on the effects of vision impairments
               on recognition distances of escape-route signs in buildings",
  author =     "Katharina Kr\"{o}sl and Dominik Bauer and Michael
               Schw\"{a}rzler and Henry Fuchs and Michael Wimmer and Georg
               Suter",
  year =       "2018",
  abstract =   "In workplaces or publicly accessible buildings, escape
               routes are signposted according to official norms or
               international standards that specify distances, angles and
               areas of interest for the positioning of escape-route signs.
               In homes for the elderly, in which the residents commonly
               have degraded mobility and suffer from vision impairments
               caused by age or eye diseases, the specifications of current
               norms and standards may be insufficient. Quantifying the
               effect of symptoms of vision impairments like reduced visual
               acuity on recognition distances is challenging, as it is
               cumbersome to find a large number of user study participants
               who suffer from exactly the same form of vision impairments.
               Hence, we propose a new methodology for such user studies:
               By conducting a user study in virtual reality (VR), we are
               able to use participants with normal or corrected sight and
               simulate vision impairments graphically. The use of
               standardized medical eyesight tests in VR allows us to
               calibrate the visual acuity of all our participants to the
               same level, taking their respective visual acuity into
               account. Since we primarily focus on homes for the elderly,
               we accounted for their often limited mobility by
               implementing a wheelchair simulation for our VR application.",
  month =      apr,
  doi =        "10.1007/s00371-018-1517-7",
  issn =       "0178-2789",
  journal =    "The Visual Computer",
  number =     "6-8",
  volume =     "34",
  pages =      "911--923",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2018/Kathi-2018-VRB/",
}