When building software, one is creating a simplified model of reality, capturing those parts which are relevant to achieving the system goals. This model is not generally not built to be passive, it should then interact with reality to alter the nature of reality. It’s an interesting feedback loop called “active modelling”. If we don’t iteratively test as we design and build, we will inevitably design systems that fail to capture reality and fail to then interact with it as desired. This is particularly true of systems which interact with people. Continue reading “Why is designing EyeSkills difficult? – a quick note”
What a wonderful test. Mr R has alternating strabismus, and a very strong suppression. The Binocular Suppression scene is now designed well enough that it not only demonstrates the suppression switching on very well (by introducing conflict), but allows us to find that breakthrough point where – despite the suppression – Mr R can see both (despite the conflict). The eye misalignment worked well. Mr R couldn’t see any depth in the depth test – which was precisely what I expected at this stage from him. Unfortunately, there was ambiguity in the alternating fusion scene and the eye straightening scene, because it wasn’t clear enough if both eyes were active or not.
I will make a series of improvements which allow us to interactively introduce/remove conflict in these later scenes, and provide visual cues so it is clear without a doubt, what they participant is actually experiencing from their descriptions of what they are perceiving.
A first quick look at how the second iteration of the open-source EyeSkills prototype works. This prototype is designed to test the visual abilities of a person with Lazy Eye, and evaluate the effectiveness of a few techniques which may be useful in allowing a participant to re-establish binocular vision.
This is a quick note about some more user tests we ran, this time with two ladies in their forties and fifties.
We had our vision therapist with us, who ran both through a series of standard tests. In both cases, neither could use both eyes simultaneously!
As soon as they were in the VR environment, suppression was broken. We believe the cause was the “low conflict” nature of the environment they were looking at (mostly black backgrounds). I apologise for not having the time for writing up the full test, but we have – more importantly – implemented the ability to place more of our calibrations/test into and out of conflict in the recently finished second iteration of our prototype.
In the next phase of testing, we will revisit this phenomenon in more detail!
The development of Amblyopia and Strabism
For many animals with multiple eyes, their brains combine the electrical signals from each eye into a “master” (cyclopic) image which gives them stronger environmental awareness. Sometimes physical problems seem to prevent the emergence of binocular vision, and sometimes it simply never emerges due to poorly understood neurological issues.
What are EyeSkills building?
We are building tools to help people with amblyopia and strabismus (lazy eye) have a chance to learn more about their condition, their visual system, and even to open up some opportunities to overcome and even correct their condition.
I’m going to throw a few snippets of code in here that are coming out of the current sprint, because they are generally useful. I’ll also spend a few minutes commenting what’s happening so that non-unity/C-Sharp developers can start to get a feel for it….
The snippets are code for easily generating offline Text-To-Speech and extending gestures on an Input Device.
By the way : all the code we are writing is going to be free, as in speech, in the end 😉 Thanks to the prototypefund.de!
The first iteration focused on technical feasibility and laying out an initial foundation we could build on.
We split the project into three core sections :
Aspect 1 – Demonstrating the impossible is possible – Guided – Verifying abilities
Our user tests established the validity of checking and exploring the visual abilities of a participant in the following order:
We have identified four underlying motivations for the project. Whilst these build atop one another, we try to isolate them conceptually to help us manage our limited development resources.