A display framework for presenting information from a visual prosthesis
Dowling, Jason A., Boles, Wageeh W,, & Maeder, Anthony J. (2006) A display framework for presenting information from a visual prosthesis. In Billingsley, John (Ed.) 13th Annual Conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice (M2VIP 2006), 5-7 December 2006, Toowoomba.
The electrical stimulation of a component of the human visual system can result in the perception of blobs of light (or phosphenes) in totally blind patients. By stimulating an array of closely aligned electrodes it is possible for a blind person to perceive very low-resolution phosphene images. Using this approach, a number of international research groups are working toward developing multiple electrode systems (called visual prostheses or Artificial Human Vision (AHV) systems) to provide a phosphene-based substitute for normal human vision. Computer vision methods provide a critical link between the camera and electrode array of an effective visual prothesis.
Despite the promise of partially restoring sight to the blind, there are currently a number of constraints with current visual prosthesis systems. These include limitations in the number of electrodes which can be implanted and the perceived spatial layout and frame rate of phosphenes. Therefore the development of computer vision techniques that can maximize the value of the limited number of phosphenes would be useful in compensating for these constraints.
In this paper a novel framework for the dynamic presentation of information to a visual prosthesis recipient is presented. This framework includes the main factors which impact on blind mobility. These factors include the current context, scene properties, task under-taken, available sensory information, and environmental factors, in addition to human factors (such as level of training) and prosthesis technology (for example, camera and electrode array technology).
The benefits of using this framework include enhanced communication between AHV re-searchers and the ability to experimentally explore and compare different factors (such as different types of computer vision methods, and different mobility environments). Experimental evidence supporting the use of the display framework will be presented. This evidence has been obtained through mobility studies involving human volunteers wearing a head mounted display which presents a simulation of prosthetic vision.
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