NVIDIA Researchers Demonstrate Thin Holographic VR Glasses

A crew of researchers from NVIDIA Analysis and Stanford revealed a brand new paper demonstrating a pair of skinny holographic VR glasses. The shows can present true holographic content material, fixing for the vergence-accommodation subject. Although the analysis prototypes demonstrating the rules had been a lot smaller in field-of-view, the researchers declare it might be easy to attain a 120° diagonal field-of-view.

Printed forward of this yr’s upcoming SIGGRAPH 2022 convention, a crew of researchers from NVIDIA Analysis and Stanford demonstrated a near-eye VR show that can be utilized to show flat pictures or holograms in a compact form-factor. The paper additionally explores the interconnected variables within the system that affect key show components like field-of-view, eye-box, and eye-relief. Additional, the researchers discover totally different algorithms for optimally rendering the picture for one of the best visible high quality.

Commercially obtainable VR headsets haven’t improved in dimension a lot over time largely due to an optical constraint. Most VR headsets use a single show and a easy lens. To be able to focus the sunshine from the show into your eye, the lens should be a sure distance from the show; any nearer and the picture might be out of focus.

Eliminating that hole between the lens and the show would unlock beforehand unimaginable form-factors for VR headsets; understandably there’s been a variety of R&D exploring how this may be executed.

In NVIDIA-Stanford’s newly revealed paper, Holographic Glasses for Digital Actuality, the crew reveals that it constructed a holographic show utilizing a spatial mild modulator mixed with a waveguide slightly than a standard lens.

The crew constructed each a big benchtop mannequin—to show core strategies and experiment with totally different algorithms for rending the picture for optimum show high quality—and a compact wearable mannequin to show the form-factor. The pictures you see of the compact glasses-like form-factor don’t embody the electronics to drive the show (as the scale of that a part of the system is out of scope for the analysis).

You could recall a short while again that Meta Actuality Labs revealed its personal work on a compact glasses-size VR headset. Though that work includes holograms (to kind the system’s lenses), it’s not a ‘holographic show’, which suggests it doesn’t resolve the vergence-accommodation subject that’s frequent in lots of VR shows.

Alternatively, the Nvidia-Stanford researchers write that their Holographic Glasses system is in actual fact a holographic show (because of the usage of a spatial mild modulator), which they tout as a singular benefit of their method. Nonetheless, the crew additionally writes that it’s potential to show typical flat pictures on the show as properly (which, like up to date VR headsets, can converge for a stereoscopic view).

NVIDIA Researchers Reveal Skinny Holographic VR Glasses 11Picture courtesy NVIDIA Analysis

Not solely that, however the Holographic Glasses challenge touts a mere 2.5mm thickness for your complete show, considerably thinner than the 9mm thickness of the Actuality Labs challenge (which was already impressively skinny!).

As with every good paper although, the Nvidia-Stanford crew is fast to level out the restrictions of their work.

For one, their wearable system has a tiny 22.eight° diagonal field-of-view with an equally tiny 2.3mm eye-box. Each of that are manner too small to be viable for a sensible VR headset.

NVIDIA Researchers Reveal Skinny Holographic VR Glasses 12Picture courtesy NVIDIA Analysis

Nonetheless, the researchers write that the restricted field-of-view is basically attributable to their experimental mixture of novel parts that aren’t optimized to work collectively. Drastically increasing the field-of-view, they clarify, is basically a matter of selecting complementary parts.

“[…] the [system’s field-of-view] was primarily restricted by the scale of the obtainable [spatial light modulator] and the focal size of the GP lens, each of which might be improved with totally different parts. For instance, the focal size might be halved with out considerably growing the entire thickness by stacking two an identical GP lenses and a round polarizer [Moon et al. 2020]. With a 2-inch SLM and a 15mm focal size GP lens, we may obtain a monocular FOV of as much as 120°”

As for the two.3mm eye-box (the amount by which the rendered picture might be seen), it’s manner too small for sensible use. Nonetheless, the researchers write that they experimented with a simple option to increase it.

With the addition of eye-tracking, they present, the eye-box might be dynamically expanded as much as 8mm by altering the angle of the sunshine that’s despatched into the waveguide. Granted, 8mm continues to be a really tight eye-box, and could be too small for sensible use attributable to variations in eye-relief distance and the way the glasses relaxation on the top, from one consumer to the subsequent.

However, there’s variables within the system that may be adjusted to alter key show components, just like the eye-box. By way of their work, the researchers established the connection between these variables, giving a transparent take a look at what tradeoffs would must be made to attain totally different outcomes.

NVIDIA Researchers Reveal Skinny Holographic VR Glasses 13Picture courtesy NVIDIA Analysis

As they present, eye-box dimension is instantly associated to the pixel pitch (distance between pixels) of the spatial mild modulator, whereas field-of-view is expounded to the general dimension of the spatial mild modulator. Limitations on eye-relief and converging angle are additionally proven, relative to a sub-20mm eye-relief (which the researchers think about the higher restrict of a real ‘glasses’ form-factor).

An evaluation of this “design commerce area,” as they name it, was a key a part of the paper.

“With our design and experimental prototypes, we hope to stimulate new analysis and engineering instructions towards ultra-thin all-day-wearable VR shows with form-factors comparable to traditional eyeglasses,” they write.

The paper is credited to researchers Jonghyun Kim, Manu Gopakumar, Suyeon Choi, Yifan Peng, Ward Lopes, and Gordon Wetzstein.

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