Effects of Dark Mode Graphics on Visual Acuity and Fatigue with Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Displays

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PubDate: May 2020

Teams: University of Central Florida

Writers: Austin Erickson; Kangsoo Kim; Gerd Bruder; Gregory F. Welch

PDF: Effects of Dark Mode Graphics on Visual Acuity and Fatigue with Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Displays

Abstract

Current virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) are characterized by a low angular resolution that makes it difficult to make out details, leading to reduced legibility of text and increased visual fatigue. Light-on-dark graphics modes, so-called “dark mode” graphics, are becoming more and more popular over a wide range of display technologies, and have been correlated with increased visual comfort and acuity, specifically when working in low-light environments, which suggests that they might provide significant advantages for VR HMDs.In this paper, we present a human-subject study investigating the correlations between the color mode and the ambient lighting with respect to visual acuity and fatigue on VR HMDs. We compare two color schemes, characterized by light letters on a dark background (dark mode), or dark letters on a light background (light mode), and show that the dark background in dark mode provides a significant advantage in terms of reduced visual fatigue and increased visual acuity in dim virtual environments on current HMDs. Based on our results, we discuss guidelines for user interfaces and applications.

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