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The POVES Homepage

Portable Optoelectronic Vision Enhancement System - EC Tide Project 1211. The Austrian contribution to the project was funded by the FFF (Austrian Funds for Industrial Research).

POVES will tackle visual impairments, e.g. night blindness, decrease of the visual field, colour blindness and impairments in contrast perception, light sensitivity and visual acuity, which cannot be compensated by conventional optical means.

The Principle of the POVES Device

POVES is a battery operated, portable image processing system consisting of a head worn spectacle part carrying cameras and screen displays and a pocket part containing the image processor, the power supply and the controls (user interface).

mainparts of POVES

As a first step a system for night blind persons is built. This system runs under the acronym NiViS (Night Vision Spectacles). The other classes of visual impairment will be tackled in a following project.

Within the POVES project fortec was responsible for defining the needs of the disabled users and for performing tests with the different systems.

For some of these tests a systems (based on commercial available parts) was built by fortec.

The NiVis System

When the light gets low first the intensity of the perceived image decreases (photopic conditions). Contrast gets lower and colours fade (mesopic region). While normally sighted people can see a less contrasted image down to some mCd/mē in shades of grey eg. moonlight scene (scotopic vision), a night blind person completely looses vision below a certain threshold.

The NiViS works down to an illumination level of 1/10 of a Lux and presents the image at a brightness of 80 Cd/mē, which is in the photopic range thus enabling night blind people to see.

The Prototype built by fortec

picture of fortec's prototyp

Front View of Spectacle Part  View on the Display

The POVES Consortium:

  • JURCA Optoelektronik GmbH (Eschborn, Germany)
  • CAE Electronics GmbH (Stolberg, Germany)
  • empirica GmbH (Bad Nauheim, Germany)
  • Université Catholique de Louvain - external link: GREN (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Université Catholique de Louvain - external link: DICE (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
  • Vienna University of Technology - fortec (Vienna, Austria).


Contact the POVES group for further information.

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