Everyday visual demands of people with low vision: A mixed methods real-life recording study

Sandra D Starke, Eugenie Golubova, Michael D Crossland, James S Wolffsohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has demonstrated that low vison aids (LVAs) can have a positive impact on the functional sight of those living with sight loss. Step changes in technology are now enabling new wearable LVAs with greater potential than those available previously. For these novel devices to receive increased acceptance and therefore adoption by those with sight loss, visual task demands have to be understood more clearly in order to enable better alignment between device design and user requirements. The aim of this study was to quantify these requirements. Thirty-two participants aged 18 to 87 wore a spectacle-mounted video camera to capture and narrate all everyday situations in which they would use a "perfect" sight aid during 1 week. Captured scenes were analyzed through categorization and computational image analysis. Results showed large variation in activities and lifestyles. Participants reported no available sight aid or coping strategy for 57% of the recorded activities. Reading made up 49% of all recorded tasks, the other half comprising non-textual information. Overall, 75% of captured activities were performed ad hoc (duration of 0-5 minutes), 78% occurred indoors, 58% occurred at home, 48% were lit by natural light, 68% included the object of interest within reach, and 69% required a single focus plane only. Around half of captured objects of interest had a size of 2 degrees visual angle (2.08 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR]) or smaller. This study highlights the need for a sight aid that can make both textual and non-textual scenes accessible while offering flexibility to accommodate individual lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2020 The Authors
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Funding: Innovate UK grant number 103865


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