Nvidia prototypes NearEye Light Field head mounted display

first_imgIt would appear as though we are on the verge of a new race to make head mounted displays that people will actually use. Nvidia’s R&D department has been working on a prototype of how they think HMD should work, and for an early preview it is hard not to be impressed.The Oculus Rift has thrown head mounted displays back into the spotlight. The problem with this technology in the past has been that they are all painful to wear after a while. They are often too heavy, or the screen is not high enough quality to enjoy for any length of time. Nvidia Research thinks they have the right approach to HMDs by using a microlens over an existing display. From a distance, the image looks scattered and broken, but as you move your eye closer to the display the image takes shape and becomes a single clear image.By using two displays, this technology can be adjusted to offer depth of field. The end result is a very light HMD that is contained entirely in something that you would wear more like a pair of glasses instead of a headset that needs to be strapped on.In the demonstration, it is clarified that the bulky parts on this display could easily be separated from the display itself, and moves elsewhere on the unit. This would make the parts that go on your face even lighter, and would more closely resemble sunglasses to everyone but the wearer.This is all very early prototype stuff. The demo in the video was custom made by tearing down a bulky Sony HMD, and modifying it to serve as a proof of concept. A finished product is still quite a ways away, but the idea that we could have displays that are more like sunglasses sets a great stage in between products like Oculus Rift and Google Glass.These are still displays that would be worn mostly at home or at a desk, but have the potential to be significantly more portable and much more aesthetically pleasing than current HMDs. It shows a significant step forward for the technology, well worth keeping an eye on for the future.last_img

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