Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Katarzyna Haśnik 

MA Design for Change

Katarzyna's life mottos are Ancora Imparo, I am still learning and Creo, Ergo Sum, I create therefore I am. Regardless of a well-established career as Head of Design, UX/UI Designer Mentor, Tutor, Executive Creative Director, Senior Principal Lead Product Design, she continued to expand her knowledge at IADT, MA, DFC. Katarzyna is a Polish/Irish Researcher and Designer with a multidisciplinary tech industry background, including social and environmental safety, education, physical and mental health including disabilities, entertainment events, fine arts, photography, tourism, transport, logistics, insurance, finance with more than 15+ years of experience.

Abstract, Concepts and General Terms of the Project

Abstract: The aim of this research is to investigate, awareness, attitudes and levels of acceptance to the enhancement of the human eyesight by using augmentative technologies for both need (e.g. health) and desire (e.g. entertainment/aesthetics). Concepts: Social Studies Discovery of the attitudes and acceptance levels amongst the general public to sight augmentation technologies: assistive technologies for the visually impaired and technologies such as VR headsets, and AR heads-up displays. General Terms: Human Factors. Keywords: Public, Awareness, Attitudes, Eyesight, Human Augmentation Technologies, Accessibility Technologies, VR/AR, Human-Centre Design.

Introduction and Rational

The rationale for this research project is based on the discovered studies of an increasing number of visually impaired people globally conducted by the World Health Organization as well as nationally by the National Council for Blind in Ireland, which said: at least 2.2. billion people are visually impaired (WHO). In the Republic of Ireland 55.000, are visually impaired and 2.250 are completely blind (NCBI). The number of waiting for patient ophthalmic services in Ireland is 46310 adults (NCBI). The main factor in decreasing the sense of vision is natural ageing. Mostly impacted adults in their 50s (WHO, NCBI). According to the Central Statistic Office, 2016, the population over 65 is increasing in Ireland by 19.1% in comparison to the population between 25-64 increased by 1.9% (CSO). At the same time, estimated productivity losses in 2022 associated with vision impairment are $411 (WHO). The Computer Vision Syndrome diagnosis and treatment costs in the USA ¢2 billion every year (Blehm, Vishnu, Khattak, Mitra, Yee 253-262).

Further Objectives

The cost of vision assistive technologies production needs to increase due to the need of visually impaired people. WHO claimed that half of the number of visually impaired people could be prevented when acting accordingly (WHO). While at the same time, the number of jobs including the computer in The United States of America is 75% compare to the job with no digital screen (Blehm, Vishnu, Khattak, Mitra, Yee 253-262). According to the research conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Malaysia 70.6% number of workers using computers complained of eye strain caused by Computer Vision Syndrome (Loh, Reddy 128-130). Furthermore at the same time usage of vision augmentation technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmentative Reality headsets is growing. Zion Market Research predicted VR sales reach $ 26.89. ARtillary Intelligence $18.8 for 2022 (Greengard 1-18). The academic literature review discovered the gap in the lack of conducted research studies to investigate the awareness, attitudes and acceptance levels amongst the general public of vision augmentation technologies.

What are the awareness, attitudes and acceptance levels amongst the general public to vision augmentation technologies?

The aim of this research is to contribute to finding out insights into the research question by focusing on the public and their usage of digital screen devices such as computer desktops laptops, mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, Virtual Reality headsets and Augmented Reality head-up display for personal and professional. While at the same time awareness of Vision Assistive Technologies testing for visually impaired people listed but not limited to white canes, guide dogs, Braille displays, prints, phones with large tactical buttons, talking devices, screen reading software etc.