An augmented-reality headset to help people with low vision see well-enough to do everyday tasks.

Research details

  • Type of funding: Fight for Sight Small Grant Award
  • Grant Holder: Dr Gordon Morison
  • Institute: Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Region: Scotland
  • Start date: April 2014
  • End Date: August 2014
  • Priority: Quality of Life
  • Eye Category: AMD


Over half a million people are affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the UK. People with AMD can experience distorted vision – for example, bending lines and dark patches in the centre of the visual scene.

Current visual aids magnify side vision, but are not always very practical. They make the visible area much smaller overall and the magnified images are sometimes hard to recognise.

But, advances in technology mean there are new ways to make visual aids. These can be used in creative ways, such as with a display unit worn on the head that can add to and improve (or ‘augment’) the real world.

In this project, the researchers have been trying to develop a headset that can help give back some of the vision that is lost in people with AMD and other low-vision conditions.

The team have developed a system that

  • takes pictures of the world,
  • works out where the edges of objects are,
  • displays an outline of the edges on top of the original image.
  • The size and colour of the outline can be changed to suit the wearer.

The research team wants to show that a low-cost augmented-reality device can be made for use at home, to make the most of the vision people have. The hope is that it will give back some control over their own eyesight, for people with AMD and other low vision conditions.