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 Nvidia's Light Field HMD at SIGGRAPH 2013 
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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And so begins MTBS' coverage of SIGGRAPH 2013!  Today, Kris Roberts checks out Nvidia's Light Field HMD protoype.  Obviously at the proof of concept stage, this new display technique holds a lot of promise for VR's impending future.

https://research.nvidia.com/publication/near-eye-light-field-displays

I was really excited to see the Nvidia research project's HMD prototype. Using a light-field display has a number of significant advantages over conventional display techniques that are very attractive for virtual reality. I very much wanted to see how it looks for myself.

The demonstration equipment they had on display was basically divided into two groups. One was a working real time stereoscopic HMD prototype built from off the shelf components and using a pair of small microlens-covered 1440x720 OLED panels and a 3D printed housing. The other was a set of film slides with a loose microlens to demonstrate what the display could look like with much higher resolution.


With the goal of producing perceptions indistinguishable from reality, a light-field display has the unique property of letting the viewer's eye decide what to focus on in the image. With a conventional display either the entire scene is in focus, or the focus is determined by the rendering/photographic system. A light-field display presents something much more natural and realistic in letting the viewer decide not only what part of a scene to converge on, but also which part to focus – and the areas not in focus blur out exactly as they do in reality. Another really interesting aspect of this approach is that the display itself can be calibrated to accommodate the flaws in a users' vision, eliminating the need to wear both corrective lenses and the HMD!

Read full article...

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Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:45 am
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Petrif-Eyed
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So with the best contemporary mobile device screens in the ~350dpi range it seems like it will be some time before we have affordable panels that are large enough to provide satisfactory field of view and fine enough to have an acceptable perceived resolution.
It seems they are using the same displays than the ones found in the Sony HMDs (Sony ECX332A 1280×720 0.7") by looking at their video and paper. Considering SMD has already a 0.74" 1920x1080 display, a 0.82" 4K prototype and a 8K display in the works, this technology may come sooner than expected to us mere mortals. :)

The actual resolution per eye is 146×78 for a 29×16° FOV, not very impressive for sure but with a 8K panel it would start to look good I guess, even if not really immersive with such a low FOV.


Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:58 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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They actually stripped the Sony down and kept all the electronic bits, didn't they?


Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:03 pm
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