Dynamic text presentation on smart glasses: A pilot evaluation in age-related macular degeneration

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We suggest a low-vision reading aid based on user-customized text presented on a head-mounted display (HMD), and make an initial comparison to optical aids in participants with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Biomimetic scrolling, a novel method of text presentation which mimics the natural movements of the eye while reading, was previously invented: while the user maintains a steady gaze, text is scrolled horizontally across the display in a series of pauses and steps that resemble the natural fixations and saccades of reading. This method, along with rapid serial visual presentation, continuous scrolling, and static text, was presented on smart glasses to 23 participants with macular disease. Reading speed and subjective preference of the smart glasses was compared to reading text printed on paper using the participants’ habitual optical reading aid. Reading using smart glasses, the mean (±standard error) maximum reading speed was 122 ± 15 words per minute (wpm), compared to 74 ± 9 wpm using each participants’ habitual optical magnifier. This is a statistically significant difference as confirmed by a paired-sample t-test, t(17) = –4.61, p < .001. In total, 70% of the participants preferred reading from the smart glasses compared to reading from paper, and 84% found doing so easier. Data from this small patient cohort with AMD have demonstrated enhanced reading performance using dynamic text presented on a spectacle type HMD-device. Loss of reading ability marks a major decline in quality of life and independent functioning. Dynamic text presentation, including biomimetic scrolling, on smart glasses could improve reading performance for the visually impaired.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24
Number of pages37
JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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