When we think of Virtual Reality glasses we imagine a hermetic device on all sides so that no external light enters, so that the immersion effect is complete.
This is the case with all those on the market, from the cheapest (the now defunct Oculus Go) to the most expensive, but it seems that there are other alternatives in sight.
Michael Abrash, chief scientist at Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) presented a new virtual reality miniaturization progress with Half Dome 2 and 3, two prototypes that examine how varifocal displays can improve visual and physical comfort. Now, at the SIGGRAPH virtual conference, they present another research milestone along this path: a new optical architecture that is significantly more compact and offers the potential for better visual performance.
They describe it in the holographic optics work for thin and light virtual reality, where they propose a new class of near-eye displays, combining the power of holographic optics and polarization-based optical folding, an approach that could be used in the future. for VR equipment that looks like sunglasses. These two methods help keep the optics as thin as possible while making the most efficient use of space.
One of the goals is to enable extended VR sessions and new use cases, including productivity.
At the moment it is only a proof of concept that uses thin and flat films to achieve a screen thickness of less than 9 mm while at the same time supporting a field of view comparable to current consumer virtual reality products. When it comes to quality, they use laser illumination to provide a much wider color gamut to virtual reality displays, moving toward resolution scaled to the limit of human vision. as you can see in this video.
They comment in the article that most virtual reality displays share a common viewing optics: a simple refractive lens made up of a thick, curved piece of glass or plastic. They want to replace this bulky element with holographic optics, a recording of the interaction of laser light with objects, but in this case the object is a lens rather than a 3D scene.
It should be noted that holographic optics requires the use of laser light sources, which are more difficult to integrate but provide a much richer color set than common LEDs.
At the moment it is just a study, a prototype, but it promises to be a first step for something tremendous in this sector.