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Research Mentor Name

Dr. Joshua R Ehrlich

Research Mentor Email Address


Institution / Department

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



The purpose of this study was to explore the factors impacting preference for head-mounted display (HMD) technology among individuals with visual impairment. HMD are commercially available assistive devices intended for those with low vision. Individuals with a range of visual impairment and diagnosis of either age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa were recruited. Participants completed the Impact of Vision Impairment (IVI) questionnaire, were taught to use three different HMDs (eSight, Epson Moverio, and NuEyes) and were subsequently interviewed regarding their experience. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded by two independent coders. Qualitative data was analyzed using a thematic approach and a joint display analysis was conducted. Twenty-one participants were interviewed (mean age 58.2 years, 57% male, median Snellen acuity 20/40 [range 20/20-hand movement]). An equal number of participants (n=9) expressed preference for eSight and NuEyes, while (n=3) preferred the Epson Moverio. Participants emphasized ease of use, especially of HMD controls and screen, as primary reasons for HMD preference. Participants with lower IVI Well-Being scores were more likely to express eSight preference due to clarity, ease of use, and vision improvement. Those with moderate IVI Well-Being scores were more likely to prefer the NuEyes due to appearance, wireless design, and magnification. Those with higher IVI Well-Being scores cited usability as the most important HMD feature. This study found that user preferences for HMD was associated with vision-related well-being, and that usability of devices was paramount in preference.


Medicine and Health Sciences


The authors thank the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research grant support (CTSA: UL1TR002240). The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Ecosse Lamoureux, Dr. Eva Fenwick, and the Singapore Eye Research Institute for providing the IVI Questionnaire for use in this study.