Eyeware at the Guide Dogs Week Launch

Each year, the charity Guide Dogs holds Guide Dogs Week and asks people all over the UK to Move it for Money, to raise vital funds for their life changing work.  For 2017’s campaign, the Visualisation Team were proud to assist the launch with their eye condition simulator, Eyeware.

Broadcast on Facebook Live and viewed 112,000 times, celebrities Gail Porter, Jess Impiazzi and Pandora Christie were challenged to walk half a mile from St Paul’s Cathedral to the Royal Exchange while experiencing a form of sight loss. Donning a Samsung Gear VR headset, complete with Samsung S7 and the Eyeware augmented reality app, the celebrities saw the streets of London through the eyes of someone affected by cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Watch the video below to see what they saw. They were each given a human-guide to help them along as they tackled busy crowds and crossings. Watch the Facebook Live video further down this post to find out how they got on.

Back at the launch event, we were delighted to immerse the celebrities and guests in our virtual reality sight loss simulation. Here they could explore a virtual office while experiencing various visual impairments. This simulation allows architects and designers to adjust in real time the parameters of the built environment to make navigation and wayfinding easier for those suffering sight loss. Within the simulation users are able to adjust the severity of each eye condition, change lighting and adjust colours and contrast levels to optimise designs. We hope this virtual reality tool will gain traction within the construction industry to improve accessibility for those with sight loss and consequently improve usability for members of the public. It was fantastic to see the experience so well received, including by Don’t Panic London, creators of the empathetic autism VR simulator.

Eyeware is available as a free app on the iOS and Google Play stores. For more information about the Eyeware VR experience, please contact eyeware@ts.catapult.org.uk.

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