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Proceedings Paper

Luminance contrast requirements for colored symbols in helmet-mounted displays
Author(s): Gary L. Martinsen; Paul R. Havig; Eric L. Heft; John M. LaCreta; David L. Post
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Paper Abstract

Previously, we presented an experiment in which we defined minimum, but not sufficient, luminance contrast ratios for color recognition and legibility for helmet-mounted display (HMD) use. In that experiment, observers made a subjective judgement of their ability to recognize a color by stopping the incremental increase in contrast ratio of a static display. For some target color/background combinations, there were extremely high error rates and in these cases sufficient contrast ratios were not achieved. In the present experiment, we randomly presented one of three target colors on one of five backgrounds. The contrast ratio of the target on the background ranged from 1.025:1 up to 1.3:1 in steps of 0.025. As before, we found that observers could accurately identify the target colors at very low contrast ratios. In addition, we defined the range in which color recognition and legibility became sufficient (>= 95% correct). In a second experiment we investigated how ell observers did when more than one color appeared in the symbology at one time. This allowed observers to compare target colors against each other on the five backgrounds. We discuss our results in terms of luminance contrast ratio requirements for both color recognition as well as legibility in HMDs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2002
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4711, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VII, (5 August 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.478886
Show Author Affiliations
Gary L. Martinsen, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Paul R. Havig, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Eric L. Heft, Logicon Technical Services, Inc. (United States)
John M. LaCreta, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
David L. Post, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4711:
Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays VII
Clarence E. Rash; Colin E. Reese, Editor(s)

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