Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Loughborough University Featured PhD Programmes
Life Science Zurich Graduate School Featured PhD Programmes

Making art accessible for the visually impaired

   Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics

About the Project

Our ongoing research across two Schools in Cardiff University, Computer Science and Vision Sciences, have enabled us to develope state-of-the-art computer vision techniques for establishing correspondences and aligning images/shapes captured from different views on headset displays (augmented reality (AR)). In addition, our recent study of using AR technology to help those visually impaired has shown great potential for people with low visions’ mobility and navigation. Although the current preliminary study focuses on mobility aids, the participants clearly indicate that techniques for visual enhancement could make them better “see” artworks in the room. Benefiting from these streams of studies we have already undertaken, the project aims to carry out proof-of-concept feasibility studies by developing effective visual enhancement techniques to make artworks in museums accessible to those visually impaired. If successful, this can potentially lead to a larger scale prototype development and study with people with low vision in museums and galleries.

To achieve this, we partner with Guided Dogs, RNIB, Cardiff Institute for the Blind, Sight Cymru and Welsh National Museum, to provide facilities and support for carrying out the study. This PhD project is suitable for someone with strong HCI (specially user-centred design and field studies), software engineering and data analyses skills. The PhD is going to be interdisciplinary and working in a team is essential.

To give a general idea about project milestones, we expect the PhD candidate to:

1 - Have a good understanding of literature, conducting user studies, and analysing qualitative and quantitative data.

2 - Complete the ethics application for field studies.

3 - Arrange logistics with Cardiff Museum and recruitment of participants.

4 - Build on the existing techniques. The PhD project will develop visual enhancement techniques using augmented reality headsets e.g. HoloLens that can potentially help visually impaired clearly perceive artworks, e.g. zooming-in, edge or object enhancement, with the alignment of frames captured over time.

5 - Study and compare effectiveness of different enhancement techniques, as well as how their combinations work in the field i.e. Cardiff museum and an art gallery. This will lead to refinement of prototype system and or evolve into new prototypes.

6 - Write, publish and present at international conferences and prestigious journals.

Supervisory Team

Dr Parisa Eslambolchilar (School of Computer Science and Informatics),

 Prof Tom Margrain (School of Optometry and Vision Sciences)

 Prof Yukun Lai (School of Computer Science and Informatics),

Further information on the project

Write with your CV to Dr Parisa Eslambolchilar, 

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree, in computing or a related subject.  Applicants with appropriate professional experience are also considered. Degree-level mathematics (or equivalent) is required for research in some project areas.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component.

Application Information: If you would like to be considered for the School Funded Application, please submit your application before the 30th June 2021. 

In the funding field of your application, insert “I am applying for 2021 PhD Scholarship in Computer Science and Informatics”, and specify the project title and supervisors of this project in the text box provided.

Apply online: - Please read the "How to apply" instructions carefully prior to application. 

Funding Notes

A School-Funded PhD Scholarship is available for entry 2021/22. If you are interested in applying for a PhD Scholarship, please follow the instructions available on our website: View Website
In the Funding field of your application, insert "I am applying for 2021 PhD Scholarship" and specify the project title and supervisor of this project in the fields provided.
This project is also open to Self-Funded students worldwide.


Htike, H. al. 2021. Augmented Reality Glasses as a Mobility Aid for People with Low Vision: a Feasibility Study of Experiences and Requirements. Accepted in ACM SIGCHI Conference, Yokohama, Japan
Htike, H. al. 2020. Ability of head-mounted display technology to improve mobility in people with low vision: a systematic review. Translational Vision Science & Technology 9(10), article number: 26. (10.1167/tvst.9.10.26)

Email Now

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.