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An Augmented-Reality Edge Enhancement Application for Google Glass

Hwang, Alex D.*; Peli, Eli

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000326
Low Vision and Vision Function: Original Articles

Purpose Google Glass provides a platform that can be easily extended to include a vision enhancement tool. We have implemented an augmented vision system on Glass, which overlays enhanced edge information over the wearer’s real-world view, to provide contrast-improved central vision to the Glass wearers. The enhanced central vision can be naturally integrated with scanning.

Methods Google Glass’ camera lens distortions were corrected by using an image warping. Because the camera and virtual display are horizontally separated by 16 mm, and the camera aiming and virtual display projection angle are off by 10°, the warped camera image had to go through a series of three-dimensional transformations to minimize parallax errors before the final projection to the Glass’ see-through virtual display. All image processes were implemented to achieve near real-time performance. The impacts of the contrast enhancements were measured for three normal-vision subjects, with and without a diffuser film to simulate vision loss.

Results For all three subjects, significantly improved contrast sensitivity was achieved when the subjects used the edge enhancements with a diffuser film. The performance boost is limited by the Glass camera’s performance. The authors assume that this accounts for why performance improvements were observed only with the diffuser filter condition (simulating low vision).

Conclusions Improvements were measured with simulated visual impairments. With the benefit of see-through augmented reality edge enhancement, natural visual scanning process is possible and suggests that the device may provide better visual function in a cosmetically and ergonomically attractive format for patients with macular degeneration.



Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (both authors).

Alex D. Hwang, Schepens Eye Research Institute 20 Staniford Street Boston, MA 02114 e-mail:

© 2014 American Academy of Optometry