21 May 2015 Visibility of monocular symbology in transparent head-mounted display applications
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Abstract
With increased reliance on head-mounted displays (HMDs), such as the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System, research concerning visual performance has also increased in importance. Although monocular HMDs have been used successfully for many years, a number of authors have reported significant problems with their use. Certain problems have been attributed to binocular rivalry when differing imagery is presented to the two eyes. With binocular rivalry, the visibility of the images in the two eyes fluctuates, with one eye’s view becoming dominant, and thus visible, while the other eye’s view is suppressed, which alternates over time. Rivalry is almost certainly created when viewing an occluding monocular HMD. For semi-transparent monocular HMDs, however, much of the scene is binocularly fused, with additional imagery superimposed in one eye. Binocular fusion is thought to prevent rivalry. The present study was designed to investigate differences in visibility between monocularly and binocularly presented symbology at varying levels of contrast and while viewing simulated flight over terrain at various speeds. Visibility was estimated by measuring the presentation time required to identify a test probe (tumbling E) embedded within other static symbology. Results indicated that there were large individual differences, but that performance decreased with decreased test probe contrast under monocular viewing relative to binocular viewing conditions. Rivalry suppression may reduce visibility of semi-transparent monocular HMD imagery. However, factors, such as contrast sensitivity, masking, and conditions such as monofixation, will be important to examine in future research concerning visibility of HMD imagery.
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M. Winterbottom, M. Winterbottom, R. Patterson, R. Patterson, B. Pierce, B. Pierce, J. Gaska, J. Gaska, S. Hadley, S. Hadley, } "Visibility of monocular symbology in transparent head-mounted display applications", Proc. SPIE 9470, Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics IX; and Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XX, 94700Z (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2179091; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2179091
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