User avatar
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:48 am
Location: Texas & Kansas, United States
Contact: Website

Virtual glasses for computer use?

Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:43 pm

I have very poor vision and must use a lot of magnification to read my computer screen. Because of the high magnification and short focal length, I have to be very close to the screen: ~2 inches. I see mostly with my right eye so stereo performance will not be an issue. I can disable or patch the left side to prevent distraction.

The virtual reality glasses that are coming to market may present a solution.

Has anyone tried a pair of virtual reality glass to present a regular computer screen? Reading text is most important for me.

I primarily use a Raspberry Pi 3 for computing. I also have a Windows laptop and a Macbook Pro but prefer the RPi while at home.

Thanks for any input, Jeff

User avatar
Posts: 5910
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:46 am
Location: Trondheim, Norway

Re: Virtual glasses for computer use?

Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:36 pm

The main problem would be that you will not have any control over which part of the screen you will be looking at.
The VR glasses are just screens where each eye look at half the screen. You would need some software that would allow you to control what part of the screen to look at.

Ubuntu on PC with good graphics drivers can enable magnifying the whole desktop with simple keystrokes but I'm not sure if the Raspbian desktop has anything similar that is usable.

Posts: 720
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:00 am

Re: Virtual glasses for computer use?

Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:32 am

The lower cost VR glasses are just a smartphone in a frame. You end up with the same problems. The higher cost ones have some zoom facilities based on watching you blink and things like that.

Raspbian has Orca, the Gnome screen reader. Install it from Add/Remove Software or the command line. 25 MB. It uses Python3 and Qt.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install gnome-orca
You get a new menu entry, Universal Access, with an entry named Screen Reader. It is slow to start the first time. Orca is supposed to provide synthesised speech and Braille.

Unfortunately, on my Pi with an up to date Raspbian, the current version of Orca fails to start and there are no error messages.

User avatar
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:48 am
Location: Texas & Kansas, United States
Contact: Website

Re: Virtual glasses for computer use?

Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:45 pm

Thank you for all of the responses. You have given me ideas to work with an a directions to follow.

I have been using screen readers for some time. I was even involved with a linux based screen reading system call Vinux for a time.

I think the virtual glasses will ultimately be a solution in the not too distant future. Even the expensive ones would be a bargain if they can be made to work. I will always post here as I figure out alternatives.

Thank you again, Jeff

Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:51 pm

Re: Virtual glasses for computer use?

Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:08 am

Rather than virtual glasses, have you tried zooming the desktop? I believe xfce now has a zoom function and compiz has the enhanced zoom effect.

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: Virtual glasses for computer use?

Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:50 pm

i am attempting something along these lines and while the hardware end is fairly cheap and easy i cant seem to find info on making the pi output side by side display
the plastic smart phone holder VR kits can be had for less than $20 with a bluetooth remote and an lcd screen to fit can be had for about the same price

if i cant get it to work i may just give up on it and build my son a stempunk-ish pip boy clone

Return to “Assistive technology and accessibility”