WebSight: using AR and WebGL shaders to assist the visually impaired

Dan Ruta, Louis Jordan, Tom James Fox, Rich Boakes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


With growing browser performance and technological advances such as WebVR, WebAssembly and WebGL, opportunities of novel assistive applications of technology are at an all time high.

With about 4% of the world's population being visually impaired, easy real world navigation and path-finding are unsolved problems. Tasks like simple navigation across a room, or walking down a street pose real dangers, and current technology based solutions are too inaccessible, or difficult to use, hindering their effectiveness.

Keeping portability and compatibility in mind, a browser based system was implemented, which makes use of high performance WebGL shaders to augment a video feed of a user's surroundings.

A range of highly configurable shaders, such as edge detection and colour inversion allow a user to adjust the effect to their specific needs and preferences. The effect is rendered into a VR format, to allow users to make use of it with a minimal learning curve, and the web based platform keeps the system accessible to anyone with a smartphone, without incompatibility issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Internet of Accessible Things
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-5651-0
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2018
EventW4A ’18: The Internet of Accessible Things - Lyon, France
Duration: 23 Apr 201825 Apr 2018


ConferenceW4A ’18: The Internet of Accessible Things


  • Augmented Reality
  • websight
  • web
  • visually
  • shaders
  • impaired
  • accessibility
  • WebGL
  • Virtual Reality
  • VR
  • PWA
  • AR


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