01 April 2019
Microsoft has announced a new set of tools called SeeingVR tools to help users with low-vision. These tools are expected to make VR content more accessible for users who suffer from vision loss that falls short of complete blindness but is not correctable by glasses. Since actual vision loss varies for each user, these tools are said to be fully customizable to match one's needs or preferences.
SeeingVR comprises of a total of 14 tools that can alter different aspects of VR content or experience. Some of these tools include a bifocal lens, brightness lens, contrast lens, recoloring, and object description. These can help to adjust aspects like contrast, brightness, edge enhancement, and depth measurements.
Most of these tools are said to be capable of working without requiring specific tweaks from developers. These can be turned on or off with simple toggles anytime the user wants them. Depending on the situation, the user can choose whether to use any particular tool or more than one simultaneously.
The complete SeeingVR toolkit has been tested with 11 participants so far and the team received positive feedback. Those users were able to perform actions faster and enjoy the VR content better when compared to the default mode. Microsoft has already partnered with Unity for the development and release of the toolkit. It means we could see it become available for public usage by the end of this year but there is no official timeline yet.