SeeingVR Toolkit

Sample Implementation:  Here is a proof-of-concept using the SeeingVR Toolkit in a Unity project to create a minature VR museum experience in order to test out the accessibility features.

  • To explore the features, we start with some 3D web models orginally the UC Berkeley P.A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology(link is external) portal.
  • Using Meshlab and Blender, the files were converted to FBX(.fbx) format and imported into Unity.
  • For testing out the SeeingVR features, a mini museum scene provides room features, artifacts, text, etc. 
  • The SeeingVR plugins for Unity are organized as a prefab using a script Manager pattern.
  • The SeeingVR toolkit offers more than a dozen virtual assistive technology functionalities including:
    • Magnification Lens enables people with low vision to see details.
    • Bifocal Lens is a smaller, rectangular-shaped magnifier (up to 10x magnification) at the bottom of the user’s visual field.
    • The Brightness Lens allows the user to adjust the brightness of the scene.
    • The Contrast Lens increases the luminance contrast of the scene. 
    • Edge Enhancement adds edges to the whole virtual scene based on the depth and surface normal change to help segment objects from each other. 
    • Peripheral Remapping is for people with peripheral vision loss.
    • Text Augmentation improves text contrast by automatically changing its color to black or white to ensure text contrast always satisfies the 4.5:1 ratio.
    • Text to Speech provides audio augmentation. 
    • Depth Measurement adds a laser to the controller, with a ball appearing at the intersection point when the laser hits an object.
  • For object recognition, object can be given tags  and descriptions in a fashion similar to Alt Attributes, the Description label is a way to provide a description of a virtual object and the isSalient label is a way to signal whether a virtual object is important for the Highlight and Guideline tools
  • Below are some movies from within the mini museum VR scene trying out some of the toolkit features.
  • in the Mini Museum w/Edge Enhancement movie, notice the depth probe going right through the basket object on the left. That’s simply because a Mesh Collider had not been added to basket object.
Close-up of Jug 16-11061 in Unity Mini Museum

Scene View Close-up of Jug 16-11061 in Unity.

Mini Museum Project in Unity for Testing SeeingVR Package

Mini Museum Project in Unity for Testing SeeingVR.

Mini Museum Scene Viewed Without SeeingVR Affordances

Mini Museum Scene Viewed Without SeeingVR Affordances.

Mini Museum Scene Viewed With SeeingVR Affordances

Mini Museum Scene Viewed With SeeingVR Affordances.

Mini Museum Without SeeingVR

Scene Test Without SeeingVR

Mini Museum w/Edge Enhancement

Scene Test with Seeing VR Features On

Mini Museum w/Object Recognition

SeeingVR test with BiFocal

Porting to Unity XR Interaction Toolkit

SeeingVR was developed several years ago for the SteamVR Input System. SeeingVR also has dependencies on the Unity Legacy Image Effects. The two videos on the right show examples of attempting to port SeeinVR functionality for use in the new Unity XR Interaction Toolkit while also translating away from the deprecated effects package.

SeeingVR Shader Test - Unity XR & URP

SeeingVR Shader Test - Unity XR & URP

  • The Grecian urn video is an initial exploration of porting SeeingVR to Unity's XR Interaction Toolkit and the Universal Render Pipeline (URP). The scene is based on the room setting from the SeeingVR demo project. The highlight effect here is achieved using a layer mask approach and object outline shader from Unity's "Custom Render Passes with URP" tutorial. Note: the Sobel Filter outline effect provided in Unity's demo does not work out-of-the-box with XR Toolkit. The Sobel Filter screen shader from that demo would be functionally closer as a replacement for the legacy image effect used for Edge Enhancement in SeeingVR.

SeeingVR w/Unity XR Interaction Toolkit

SeeingVR w/Unity XR Interaction Toolkit

  • The Star Wars-themed video demonstrates implementing select features of SeeingVR functionality using Unity's XR Interaction Toolkit. The scene is based on the setting and props from Valem's helpful tutorial series. Note: the user interface controls here are included only for in-game convenience during testing. They're certainly not accessible at this stage. This demonstration uses "Quick Outline" extension asset by Chris Nolet. Freely available at the Unity Asset Store (https://assetstore.unity.com/packages...(link is external))