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Oct 22

Immersive 360 virtual reality shows what life is like with a vision impairment

How does having a medical condition affecting vision impact the way you interact with the world around you? Using virtual reality technology, we demonstrate the challenges of navigating everyday situations when living with a vision impairment.

  • As part of our project Fragmented communication: living with sensory impairments for this year’s Bloomsbury Festival, we have produced a series of immersive 360 visual experiences recreating familiar environments as someone with a vision condition might see them.

    Developed by Mirek Janatka, a research student at UCL’s Surgical Robotic Vision Research Group, in collaboration with assistive tech pioneers GiveVision, the 360 images show a range of environments we might visit in our day to day lives. Using virtual reality, we simulate the effects of four of the most common medical conditions that affect sight: macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, hemianopia and glaucoma.

    How do these conditions make navigating these situations more difficult? How do you have to change your behaviour to get the information you need from what you can see? Through these immersive simulations we aim to show how vision impairments can make simple tasks more difficult, and even affect the way you move.

    These simulations have been developed alongside the interactive augmented reality visual demonstrations and audio recreations of the effects of hearing loss we will present at the Bloomsbury Festival. Join us on Saturday 22 October to learn more about living with sensory impairments and the innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions being developed by our engineering researchers.

    For more information, visit the Bloomsbury Festival website.