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Proceedings Paper

Walking simulator for evaluation of ophthalmic devices
Author(s): James Barabas; Russell L. Woods; Eli Peli
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Paper Abstract

Simulating mobility tasks in a virtual environment reduces risk for research subjects, and allows for improved experimental control and measurement. We are currently using a simulated shopping mall environment (where subjects walk on a treadmill in front of a large projected video display) to evaluate a number of ophthalmic devices developed at the Schepens Eye Research Institute for people with vision impairment, particularly visual field defects. We have conducted experiments to study subject's perception of "safe passing distance" when walking towards stationary obstacles. The subject's binary responses about potential collisions are analyzed by fitting a psychometric function, which gives an estimate of the subject's perceived safe passing distance, and the variability of subject responses. The system also enables simulations of visual field defects using head and eye tracking, enabling better understanding of the impact of visual field loss. Technical infrastructure for our simulated walking environment includes a custom eye and head tracking system, a gait feedback system to adjust treadmill speed, and a handheld 3-D pointing device. Images are generated by a graphics workstation, which contains a model with photographs of storefronts from an actual shopping mall, where concurrent validation experiments are being conducted.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 March 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5666, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging X, (18 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.610855
Show Author Affiliations
James Barabas, MIT Media Lab. (United States)
Russell L. Woods, Schepens Eye Research Institute (United States)
Eli Peli, Schepens Eye Research Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5666:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging X
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Scott J. Daly, Editor(s)

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