We Simulate Vision Impairments in Virtual and Augmented Reality

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XREye synthesizes modern VR platforms, eye tracking technology, and novel vision simulation techniques grounded in interdisciplinary research, to create an end-to-end framework for simulating vision impairments in eye-tracked virtual and augmented reality.



XREye simulates vision impairments in both VR and AR, greatly increasing the range of applications. It can seamlessly switch between environments at runtime, so whether you are evaluating a CG modeled environment, or a real-world lighting setup, XREye is the right tool.


Eye Tracking

Gaze-dependent vision impairments can only be simulated in a meaningful way by leveraging eye tracking. XREye is built to interface with modern eye tracking technologies, such as Pupil Labs eye trackers, to create more precise and realistic simulations.


Research Driven

XREye development is highly interdisciplinary, and driven by experts from the field of computer graphics, virtual reality, opthalmology, and mathematics. Our vision impairment simulation techniques have been rigorously validated in several peer-reviewed scientific publications.

XR Simulations
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Here are some of the applications that we have implemented with XREye

Safety Norm Evaluation

Creating norms and technical standards for safety critical features such as escape route signs that are inclusive of people with vision impairments is challenging at best. XREye helps standardization committees speed up the process of evaluating how well their norms consider different vision impairments.

Inclusive Lighting Design

With 2.2 billion people being affected by vision impairments, inclusive architecture and lighting design is more pressing than ever. XREye allows testing lighting concepts under different vision impairments, helping architects and lighting designers to create more inclusive designs.

Medical Studies

Performing user studies that evaluate the effects of certain vision impairments on environmental perception is challenging, because of the difficulty of finding suitable study subjects. XREye allows studies to leverage healthy subjects by calibrating vision impairment parameters to the subject.

Interactive Adjustment of Vision Impairment Parameters
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Press Coverage

XREye and its applications have been featured in numerous articles and documentaries


The XREye system and simulation techniques are the result of several years of inter-disciplinary research that has yielded a number of publications.

  1. Krösl. K. "Simulating Cataracts in Virtual Reality" accepted for publication in Springer Book: Digital Anatomy, 2021
  2. Panfili, L., Wimmer, M. and Krösl, K. "Myopia in Head-Worn Virtual Reality" in 2021 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW). IEEE, 2021
  3. Krösl, K. "Simulating Vision Impairments in Virtual and Augmented Reality" Doctoral dissertation. TU Wien, 2020
  4. Krösl, K., Elvezio, C., Luidolt, L. R., Hürbe, M., Karst, S., Feiner, S. and Wimmer, M. "CatARact: Simulating Cataracts in Augmented Reality" in 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR). IEEE, 2020
  5. Luidolt, L. R., Wimmer, M. and Krösl. K. "Gaze-Dependent Simulation of Light Perception in Virtual Reality" in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. IEEE, 2020
  6. Krösl, K., Elvezio, C., Hürbe, M., Karst, S., Feiner, S. and Wimmer, M. "XREye: Simulating Visual Impairments in Eye-Tracked XR" in 2020 Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR). IEEE, 2020 (Best Research Demo Award)
  7. Luidolt, L. "Perception of Light in Virtual Reality" Diploma Thesis. TU Wien, 2020.
  8. Katharina Krösl. "Simulating Vision Impairments in VR and AR" in ACM SIGGRAPH THESIS FAST FORWARD 2019. ACM, 2019. (third place)
  9. Krösl, K., Elvezio, C., Hürbe, M., Karst, S., Wimmer, M. and Feiner, S. "ICthroughVR: Illuminating Cataracts through Virtual Reality" in 2019 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR) (pp. 655-663). IEEE, 2019. (nomination for best conference paper)
  10. Krösl, K. "Computational Design of Smart Lighting Systems for Visually Impaired People, using VR and AR Simulations" in Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR-Adjunct). IEEE, 2018.
  11. Bauer, D. "Evaluation of the RecognitionDistances of Safety Signs in VRConsidering Vision Impairments" Diploma Thesis. TU Wien, 2018.
  12. Krösl, K., Bauer, D., Schwärzler, M., Fuchs, H., Suter, G. and Wimmer, M., "A VR-based user study on the effects of vision impairments on recognition distances of escape-route signs in buildings" in The Visual Computer, 34(6-8), pp.911-923. Springer, 2018


XREye is a multi-disciplinary project between several academic and industrial parties