VR in a pair of glasses? New research just made it possible
Many tech companies are working to improve certain aspects of virtual reality, including making it more vivid and realistic. Now, new research from Stanford University and Nvidia aims to make headsets easier to wear.
The device is a push for VR glasses to look more like everyday glasses rather than the big, wraparound VR headsets we see on the market today. The prototype is called “Holographic Glasses” and can provide “a full-color 3D holographic image using optics just 2.5 millimeters thick” and weighs 60 grams. The researchers compared the prototype to the Meta Quest 2, which weighs 503 grams.
The design remains rudimentary at this point with ribbons of film extending from each lens. However, the teams said this design has many benefits beyond a smaller, thinner VR frame. The “pancake lenses” of the prototype holographic glasses theoretically allow unlimited resolution and a field of view of up to 200 degrees.
The current prototype faces a number of limitations, including a field of view of just 22.8 degrees. Holographic glasses must also be able to very accurately measure and track a user’s pupil, which depends on a more developed design.
All in all, it would take a major company to invest in this concept to bring it to life in a mainstream way.
You can read more details about the project in the research paper “Holographic Glasses for Virtual Reality” by Jonghyun Kim, Manu Gopakumar, Suyeon Choi, Yifan Peng, Ward Lopes and Gordon Wetzstein.
Meanwhile, the brands continue to develop the technology for standard VR and AR headsets. In June, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off the technologies of at least four prototype VR headsets the brand is currently working on that could result in a consumer product later this year. These technologies have focused on solving problems related to resolution, focal depth, optical distortion and HDR, “focal depth” and “retinal resolution”, being similar to the lenses that Stanford and Nvidia aim to achieve. achieve with their own prototype.
Focal Depth aims to account for how far the eyes may stray from objects of focus in VR, while Retinal Resolution aims to achieve 20/20 vision with the associated headset display. Such developments should improve the current specifications of Meta’s current headsets, such as the Quest 2. However, they should mainly benefit the brand’s long-standing VR headset, currently known as “Project Cambria”, or Meta Quest. Pro.
Meanwhile, Apple would develop its own mixed reality headset, which would weigh only 150 grams.