Björn Kindler

HVES - Visual Output

HVES (Heidelberger Vision Enhancement System). Deficient defractive power of the eye can be compensated for with the aid of glasses and contact lenses but this is not possible in case of impairment of the visual acuity. This type of impairment can be caused by malfunctionings, e.g. in the retina or the optic nerve. In cases of destroyed sensory cells and optic nerve fibres even modern medicine knows no cure. Magnifying visual aids can be helpful in cases of reduced visual acuity due to pathological mutations of the retina. Two illnesses are to serve as examples for this kind of impairment: Maculadedegeneration is one of the most common mutations of the centre of the retina. In general it is senior citizens who are afflicted by it, but it can also inflict itself on younger persons in form of generic disease or as a result of diabetes. In the course of another illness, known as Retinitis Pigmentosa, the retina degenerates slowly from inside out finally resulting in total blindness. The HVES aims to help people with these symptoms improve their orientation. In order to achieve this an output device was developed with which the digital image from the camera is presented on two lcds and displayed onto the eyes of the observer by means of an optical pathway. An HMD (Head Mounted Display) of the company i-glasses was chosen and reconstructed according to the specific requirements. The originally integrated optics of the HMD were replaced with new, better magnifying ones. The resulting glasses can be used as a mobile visual aid.

They have the following advantages compared to conventional visual aids:

  • Variablity of the magnifying and contrast parameters
  • Adjustment of brightness
  • The image can be inverted: Possibilities for image processing (e.g. edge sharpening)

The currently existing optoelectronic visual aids are not very suitable for mobile use due to their generous sizing and the resulting weight. They are also very expensive since CRT-Displays are used instead of LCDs.