The design of a wearable low vision aid (WLVA) encompasses a wide range of design variables and made more complex by rapidly changing camera, micro-display, and computer technologies, and with the unique needs of the partially sighted user. Many of the WLVA design challenges have been documented by Massof [1] using miniature cathode ray tube (CRT) displays. Our goal.is to develop new scanning light micro-displays for low-cost WLVAs. Originally proposed by Peli [2], we are designing WLVAs that scan light from a laser or light emitting diode (LED), directly toward the eye. As the light beam raster scans across the retina, the mind perceives it as a full image. This display technology is called retinal light scanning, which produces images of high brightness from the laser or LED source and great depth-of-focus because of the narrow beam of light. A recent reading performance study demonstrated significantly higher reading rates of a minority of partially sighted individuals using a retinal scanning Virtual Retinal Display (VRD) versus a CRT [3]. We are in the process of researching low-cost optical scanners [4], novel human interface designs [5], and a computer-aided, decision-based design process to aid in the development of WLVAs. The initial results from our computer-aided design process are presented here.

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