New 3D display reduces eye weariness from VR and AR

The invention of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality(AR) took out the traditional ways of viewing computer-generated elements and invented new perception of viewing. 

Anyway this invention is not free from major disadvantage that it causes eye fatigue which makes them uncomfortable for extended usage. The new type of 3D display overcomes this disadvantage and upgrades the funtionality of VR and AR. 
“We want to replace currently used AR and VR optical display modules with our 3D display to get rid of eye fatigue problems,” said Liang Gao, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Our method could lead to a new generation of 3D displays that can be integrated into any type of AR glasses or VR headset.”


How do they do it…? 
Today’s VR headsets and AR glasses present two 2D images in a way that cues the viewer’s brain to combine the images into the impression of a 3D scene. This type of stereoscopic display causes what is known as a vergence-accommodation conflict, which over time makes it harder for the viewer to fuse the images and causes discomfort and eye fatigue.

The new display presents actual 3D images using an approach called optical mapping. This is done by dividing a digital display into subpanels that each create a 2D picture. The subpanel images are shifted to different depths while the centers of all the images are aligned with one another. This makes it appear as if each image is at a different depth when a user looks through the eyepiece. The researchers also created an algorithm that blends the images, so that the depths appear continuous, creating a unified 3D image.


The key component for the new system is a spatial multiplexing unit that axially shifts sub-panel images to the designated depths while laterally shifting the centers of sub-panel images to the viewing axis. In the current setup, the spatial multiplexing unit is made of spatial light modulators that modify the light according to a specific algorithm developed by the researchers.

Although the approach would work with any modern display technology, the researchers used an organic light emitting diode (OLEDs) display, one of the newest display technologies to be used on commercial televisions and mobile devices. The extremely high resolution available from the OLED display ensured that each subpanel contained enough pixels to create a clear image.

“People have tried methods similar to ours to create multiple plane depths, but instead of creating multiple depth images simultaneously, they changed the images very quickly,” said Gao. “However, this approach comes with a trade-off in dynamic range, or level of contrast, because the duration each image is shown is very short.”

Source : The optical Society

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