ERI Research Fellow Opens AR Study for People with Low Vision

August 02, 2023
Sarika Gopalakrishnan, PhD FAAO, is a research fellow at the Gigi and Carl Allen Envision Research Institute (ERI). Gopalakrishnan’s research, sponsored by Dave Sharma, investigates different methods of providing augmented reality (AR) assistive technology for people who are visually impaired.

Gopalakrishnan recently opened her research study to compare the effectiveness of three different models of augmented reality devices in terms of improving the functional vision of people with low vision while performing daily living activities independently. The primary outcome measure of her study will focus on Functional Vision Score (FVS), Visual Function Score using VALVVFQ 48, Head Mounted Display (HMD) User experience, and a mobility assessment score.

Augmented reality is a live direct view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video and graphic data. The three basic characteristics of AR are an overlay of the real and digital world, real-time interaction and registration along with alignment in 3D.

Gopalakrishnan became the first Indian female to pursue a PhD in the field of low vision care investigating virtual and augmented reality assistive technology in head mounted displays. Gopalakrishnan’s PhD work focused on the application of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for improving the quality of life of individuals with low vision. In her thesis, she designed a 3D virtual bank scenario in which various functional vision parameters like visual search behavior, head movements and spatial orientation were assessed. She used augmented reality technology for understanding the improvement in vision and quality of life of people with low vision.

Additional details about the ERI and its Postdoctoral Fellowship program can be found online. Click here to learn more about ERI’s Fellowship Program.

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