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Proceedings Paper

Vision multiplexing: an optical engineering concept for low-vision aids
Author(s): Eli Peli
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Paper Abstract

The normal visual system provides a wide field of view apparently at high resolution. The wide field is continuously monitored at low resolution for navigation and detection of objects of interest. These objects are sampled using the high-resolution fovea, applying a temporal multiplexing scheme. Most vision impairments that cause low vision impact upon only one of the components; the peripheral low-resolution wide field or the central high-resolution fovea. The loss of one of these components prevents the interplay of central and peripheral vision needed for normal function and causes disability. Traditional low-vision aids improve the impacted component, but usually at a cost of a significant loss in the surviving component. For example, magnifying devices increase resolution but reduce the field of view, while minifying devices increase the field of view but reduce resolution. A general optical engineering approach - vision multiplexing - is presented. Vision multiplexing seeks to provide both the wide field of view and the high-resolution information in ways that could be accessed and interpreted by the visual system. The use of various optical and electro-optical methods in the development of a number of new visual aids, all of which apply vision multiplexing to restore the interplay of high-resolution and wide-angle vision using eye movements in a natural way, will be described. Vision-multiplexing devices at various stages of development and testing illustrate the successes and difficulties in applying this approach for patients with tunnel vision, hemianopia (half blindness), and visual acuity loss (usually due to central retinal disease).

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 2007
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 6667, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VIII, 66670C (18 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.729315
Show Author Affiliations
Eli Peli, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6667:
Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VIII
Pantazis Z. Mouroulis; Warren J. Smith; R. Barry Johnson, Editor(s)

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