There's Something in Your Eye: Ethical Implications of Augmented Visual Field Devices

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



This paper aims to explore the ethical and social impact of augmented visual field devices (AVFDs), identifying issues that AVFDs share with existing devices and suggesting new ethical and social issues that arise with the adoption of AVFDs.

This essay incorporates both a philosophical and an ethical analysis approach. It is based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, philosophical notions of transparency and presence and human values including psychological well-being, physical well-being, privacy, deception, informed consent, ownership and property and trust.

The paper concludes that the interactions among developers, users and non-users via AVFDs have implications for autonomy. It also identifies issues of ownership that arise because of the blending of physical and virtual space and important ways that these devices impact, identity and trust.

Developers ought to take time to design and implement an easy-to-use informed consent system with these devices. There is a strong need for consent protocols among developers, users and non-users of AVFDs.

There is a social benefit to users sharing what is visible on their devices with those who are in close physical proximity, but this introduces tension between notions of personal privacy and the establishment and maintenance of social norms.

There is new analysis of how AVFDs impact individual identity and the attendant ties to notions of ownership of the space between an object and someone’s eyes and control over perception.