Virtual Reality Vision Loss Experience


Researchers at the University of Alberta Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences have developed a virtual reality (VR) game that allows players to experience the challenges of coping with vision loss in a more compelling format than traditional audio-visual media. Users are immersed in a VR game; during play, one of three conditions (central vision loss, peripheral vision loss or diffuse blurring) is superimposed on the user’s vision. The condition grows progressively worse to provide a realistic portrayal of symptoms. The program runs on Windows 10 computers using an Oculus Rift / HTC Vive / Windows Mixed Reality virtual reality headsets.

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Our current modules were developed at the Alberta Eye Institute in collaboration with KOVR, a division of KO Group Ltd. (Edmonton, Alberta) with funding from the Odd Fellow Rebekah Visual Research Foundation of Alberta. We are seeking collaborative development partners and funders to assist with production of additional modules including augmented reality segments for additional vision disorders including diabetic retinopathy. We are also seeking commercial partners in education or vision therapy to distribute the program to end users.


  • Designed to improve empathy and understanding for individuals with serious eye diseases.
  • Intended for patients, care partners, eye care providers and learners.

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Contact Information

Joanna Preston
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-7120