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Display Considerations for Improved Night Vision Performance

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Most displays viewed in dark environments can easily cause dazzling glare and affect a viewer's dark adaptation state (night vision). In previous work we showed that legibility could be improved and dark adaptation preserved in low-light environments by using a display design with a specially selected spectral light emission. We used long-wavelength light (red) that is easily visible to daylight vision photoreceptors (cones) but almost invisible to night vision photoreceptors (rods). In this paper we conduct an experiment in which we show that negative polarity (bright text on a dark background) produces better performance in a legibility task than does positive polarity (dark text on a bright background). Our results can serve as a guidelines for designing displays that change their color scheme at low ambient light levels.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • CIC is the premier annual technical gathering for scientists, technologists, and engineers working in the areas of color science and systems, and their application to color imaging. Participants represent disciplines ranging from psychophysics, optical physics, image processing, color science to graphic arts, systems engineering, and hardware and software development. While a broad mix of professional interests is the hallmark of these conferences, the focus is color. CICs traditionally offer two days of short courses followed by three days of technical sessions that include three keynotes, an evening lecture, and a vibrant interactive papers session. An endearing symbol of the meeting is the Cactus Award, given each year to the author(s) of the best interactive paper presentation.
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