The Role of Specular Reflection in the Perception of Transparent Surfaces – The Influence on User Safety

  • Marcin Brzezicki
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8019)


The perception of transparency in human’s build environment constitutes a significant cognitive challenge, also affecting the user’s safety. It is supposed that, apart from the mid-level vision transparency cues, specular reflection is also a key feature of the perceived image taken into consideration by the visual system. In the paper, this optical phenomenon was observed and estimated based on the author’s own method, here called the “pictorial image analysis”, which uses pairs of photographs: unmodified – showing the virtual image on the building’s transparent façade, and modified – devoid of this image. The images were digitally processed to extract the reflection laid over the undisturbed transmitted image. The results show that evident specular reflection significantly improves the perception of transparent surfaces, but, in the case of excess or back-lit panes, it can hardly be used as perceptual cue.


transparency perception mirror-like reflections building’s façade 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcin Brzezicki
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ArchitectureWroclaw University of TechnologyWroclawPoland

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