Peter Wagner

PhD Candidate

PhD Candidate

Research Title: Smart Wearables - Advancing Myopia Research Through Quantification of the Visual Environment

Supervisors: Professor Arthur Ho, Associate Professor Juno Kim





Myopia prevalence is on the rise all over the globe. In East and Southeast Asia 80-90% of young adults are myopic, accompanied by 10-20% with a higher degree of myopia with the associated higher risk of blindness. Irreversible visual impairment in a more and more visually depended world is a personal tragedy with socio-economic implications.  

Using wearable smart sensors to identify risk factors of myopia onset and progression recently caught increased attention in clinical myopia research. Traditional research methods using questionnaires provide valuable data, but were always subjected to the risk of bias or subjectively influencing the data and its collection. Research suggests that exposure to higher light levels, such as experienced outdoors, shows positive effects on myopia onset. However, the exact role of the amount of light and near work on myopia onset or progression is not entirely understood. Static attachable light sensors and distance sensors can monitor the amounts of exposure to various distances and the quantity of light the device is pointing at. But currently no method for objective quantification of the amount of near work, the dioptric landscape or visual content, the eyes are focussing on, exists.  

In order to devise such method, various technologies need to be validated, enhanced and combined. The use of light sensors to measure the quality and quantity of light an individual is exposed to will be combined with a variety of other technologies, such as eye tracking and vergence measurement, to arrive at what we call the ‘visual diet’ of an individual.  

Data recording tools and data analysis tools need to be developed. The obtained data will provide detailed and objective visual diet information for each individual. Obtaining objective, accurate, long-term, high frequency data for the described variables, enables an objective analysis of their influence on myopia and its progression. Today’s children and young adults experience an ever-changing visual environment. This research aims to deliver important insights into the effects of such changes. 


Peter, in conjunction with the Brien Holden Vision Institute, is currently investigating eye-tracking devices and wearables to enhance myopia research. Over the past 12 years of his professional career, he has managed corporate optometry practices in Austria and Australia. With his thesis in Orthokeratology research in 2005, he graduated with a “Diplom” Ophthalmic optician Optometrist from the University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany. During his time as an undergraduate, he initiated an ongoing human relief act in Cambodia in collaboration with the Cambodian Optometry Association and fellow students.  


2018 – present PhD student at UNSW, Sydney, Australia in conjunction with Brien Holden Vison Institute, Sydney, Australia  

2001 – 2005 “Diplom” Ophthalmic Optician Optometrist, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany


Co-author of ResTech Support Scheme for Expert Time, a grant from High Performance Computing UNSW, Sydney, Australia   


Poster presentation at European Conference on Eye Movements, ECEM 2019 

An error estimation of 3D-eye-models in eye-tracking protocols – undetected eye movements and the use of standards for cardinal points