Towards Developing an Eye-tracker Based Virtual Reality Application for Supporting Vision Screening
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- Master theses 
Statistics from 2014 show that 35 to 75 percent of school age children suffer from some sort of vision problem. Of these children, around 25\% have normal visual acuity, however, their problems relate to low performance of their vision system. This low performance can be due to, e.g., eye musculature, nerve problems, cognitive problems etc. Such deficiencies may get worse as the person gets older, and it is important that we strive to treat these issues while the person afflicted is still young. Standardized vision control is performed on children at the age of 4 or 5 in most European countries. This screening can miss functional vision problems. The identification of these requires additional expertise and resources. By providing better aids supporting vision screening, we can help to catch problems that standardized screenings do not prioritize. A previously developed laptop application (C&Look) managed to target certain aspects of the screening battery identifying oculomotor problems (OMDs), a usual functional vision problem. However, C&Look's functionalities are limited by the size of the screen and the lack of depth, two important issues influencing how our vision functions. Separation of vision problems and the lack of focus from the test person is another not addressed issue, as there is currently no way to distinguish between these. This thesis addresses these issues by developing a Virtual Reality (VR) version of C&Look with the possibility of identifying the lack of focus before measuring functional vision problems. Evaluation with a vision expert indicates that VR technology provides great promise for further assisting the current vision screening battery, however, focus was deemed too correlated with functional vision fatigue for an attention test to be used for separating the issues. User experience evaluation from seven possible end-users shows that the VR version of the screening application is considered usable compared to the original version. This process also helps to highlight the benefits and weaknesses of a transition from 2D to 3D. A simulated environment makes the process feel more like a real screening process which can increase participants' focus. A clear drawback is the limitation of head-mounted displays (HMDs) capability of measuring distances of the gaze, but also less confidence in results and worse performance. Creating a screening application is feasible in VR and can help cover more parts of the vision screening battery than a laptop application allows.