Google Glass May Create Blind Spots

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WASHINGTON – US researchers who tested Google Glass say the head-mounted display systems may create a partial peripheral vision obstruction, causing blind spots that could affect safety while doing routine tasks such as driving.

Interest in the wearable head-mounted display systems for general consumers has been growing with multiple models in production, Xinhua news agency reports.

However, their effect on vision is largely unknown.

Peripheral visual field, a main component of vision, is essential for daily activities such as driving, pedestrian safety and sports.

In the study, Tsontcho Ianchulev of University of California, San Francisco and colleagues compared performance on visual field tests with Google Glass versus regular eyewear to quantify their effect on visual function.

Perimetric visual testing, a measurement of vision field, was conducted in three healthy individuals with good vision, first with the wearable device followed by regular eyewear of similar colour and temple width which was used as a control frame.

The results demonstrated significant blind spots in all the three participants while wearing the device, creating “a clinically meaningful visual field obstruction in the upper right quadrant,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers also analysed 132 images of people wearing the product and facing the camera obtained from an Internet search in a bid to assess how the devices are worn by general consumers.

The analysis indicated that many people wear the device near or overlapping their pupillary axis, which may induce blind spots and interfere with daily function.

The study is limited by the small number of participants who may not be representative of all users, and a larger sample is needed.

“Additional studies are needed to understand the effects of these devices on visual function particularly as their use becomes increasingly common,” the researchers concluded.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). – Bernama