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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  2. Given the inherent visual affordances of Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) used for Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), they have been actively used over many years as assistive and therapeutic devices for the people who are visually impaired. In this paper, we report on a scoping review of literature describing the use of HMDs in these areas. Our high-level objectives included detailed reviews and quantitative analyses of the literature, and the development of insights related to emerging trends and future research directions. Our review began with a pool of 1251 papers collected through a variety of mechanisms. Through a structured screening process, we identified 61 English research papers employing HMDs to enhance the visual sense of people with visual impairments for more detailed analyses. Our analyses reveal that there is an increasing amount of HMD-based research on visual assistance and therapy, and there are trends in the approaches associated with the research objectives. For example, AR is most often used for visual assistive purposes, whereas VR is used for therapeutic purposes. We report on eight existing survey papers, and present detailed analyses of the 61 research papers, looking at the mitigation objectives of the researchers (assistive versus therapeutic), the approaches used, themore »types of HMDs, the targeted visual conditions, and the inclusion of user studies. In addition to our detailed reviews and analyses of the various characteristics, we present observations related to apparent emerging trends and future research directions.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 21, 2023
  3. Light-on-dark color schemes, so-called “Dark Mode,” are becoming more and more popular over a wide range of display technologies and application fields. Many people who have to look at computer screens for hours at a time, such as computer programmers and computer graphics artists, indicate a preference for switching colors on a computer screen from dark text on a light background to light text on a dark background due to perceived advantages related to visual comfort and acuity, specifically when working in low-light environments. In this article, we investigate the effects of dark mode color schemes in the field of optical see-through head-mounted displays (OST-HMDs), where the characteristic “additive” light model implies that bright graphics are visible but dark graphics are transparent . We describe two human-subject studies in which we evaluated a normal and inverted color mode in front of different physical backgrounds and different lighting conditions. Our results indicate that dark mode graphics displayed on the HoloLens have significant benefits for visual acuity and usability, while user preferences depend largely on the lighting in the physical environment. We discuss the implications of these effects on user interfaces and applications.
  4. Due to the additive light model employed by most optical see-through head-mounted displays (OST-HMDs), they provide the best augmented reality (AR) views in dark environments, where the added AR light does not have to compete against existing real-world lighting. AR imagery displayed on such devices loses a significant amount of contrast in well-lit environments such as outdoors in direct sunlight. To compensate for this, OST-HMDs often use a tinted visor to reduce the amount of environment light that reaches the user’s eyes, which in turn results in a loss of contrast in the user’s physical environment. While these effects are well known and grounded in existing literature, formal measurements of the illuminance and contrast of modern OST-HMDs are currently missing. In this paper, we provide illuminance measurements for both the Microsoft HoloLens 1 and its successor the HoloLens 2 under varying environment lighting conditions ranging from 0 to 20,000 lux. We evaluate how environment lighting impacts the user by calculating contrast ratios between rendered black (transparent) and white imagery displayed under these conditions, and evaluate how the intensity of environment lighting is impacted by donning and using the HMD. Our results indicate the further need for refinement in the designmore »of future OST-HMDs to optimize contrast in environments with illuminance values greater than or equal to those found in indoor working environments.« less