Artificial vision support system (AVS2) for improved prosthetic vision

Wolfgang Fink, Mark A. Tarbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

State-of-the-art and upcoming camera-driven, implanted artificial vision systems provide only tens to hundreds of electrodes, affording only limited visual perception for blind subjects. Therefore, real time image processing is crucial to enhance and optimize this limited perception. Since tens or hundreds of pixels/electrodes allow only for a very crude approximation of the typically megapixel optical resolution of the external camera image feed, the preservation and enhancement of contrast differences and transitions, such as edges, are especially important compared to picture details such as object texture. An Artificial Vision Support System (AVS2) is devised that displays the captured video stream in a pixelation conforming to the dimension of the epi-retinal implant electrode array. AVS2, using efficient image processing modules, modifies the captured video stream in real time, enhancing 'present but hidden' objects to overcome inadequacies or extremes in the camera imagery. As a result, visual prosthesis carriers may now be able to discern such objects in their 'field-of-view', thus enabling mobility in environments that would otherwise be too hazardous to navigate. The image processing modules can be engaged repeatedly in a user-defined order, which is a unique capability. AVS2 is directly applicable to any artificial vision system that is based on an imaging modality (video, infrared, sound, ultrasound, microwave, radar, etc.) as the first step in the stimulation/processing cascade, such as: retinal implants (i.e. epi-retinal, sub-retinal, suprachoroidal), optic nerve implants, cortical implants, electric tongue stimulators, or tactile stimulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-395
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Engineering and Technology
Volume38
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

Keywords

  • Artificial vision
  • Real time image processing
  • Retinal implant
  • Smartphone
  • Visual prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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