A new augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display with the most advanced technology in three dimensional (3D) viewing experience has been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK in collaboration with Huawei European Research Centre in Germany. What makes the technology more user-friendly is that it does not give any side effects such as nausea or eyestrain. To make the design comfortable for the eyes, the new device has an enlarged eye-box that is scalable and an increased field of view of 36 degrees as per the University's journal. The AR uses pixel beam scanning to display images on the retina which ensures the image stays in focus regardless of the distance that the user is fixating on.
"Our research offers a wearable AR experience that rivals the market leaders thanks to its comfortable 3D viewing which causes no nausea or eyestrain to the user. It can deliver high quality clear images directly on the retina, even if the user is wearing glasses. This can help the user to see displayed real world and virtual objects clearly in an immersive environment, regardless of the quality of the user's vision," said Professor Daping Chu, Director of the Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors at Cambridge.
Using partially reflective beam splitters, the head-mounted display (HMD) form an additional 'exit pupil' -- a virtual opening through which light travels. Thus, a high-quality image is formed together with narrow pixel beams that travel parallel to each other which do not disperse in other directions unaffected by changes in eye focus. Cambridge established the results on the basis of a subjective user study conducted with more than 50 participants aged between 16 and 60 showed the 3D effect to be 'very convincing' for objects from 20 centimetres to 10 metres, and the images and videos to be of 'vivid colour'. What was found in the results is that there was high contrast with no observable pixels, and none of the participants reported any eyestrain or nausea, even after prolonged periods of usage over a few hours or even all day. Moreover, they confirmed that the HMD is of high brightness and suited to a wide range of indoor and outdoor uses. In future, the technology will be further tested in areas of different applications such as training, CAD (computer-aided design) development, hospitality, data manipulation, outdoor sport, defence applications and construction.
Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information which includes multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory. This experience is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world giving an effect of reality. What makes it different from virtual reality is that augmented reality alters one's ongoing perception of a real-world environment, whereas virtual reality completely replaces the user's real-world environment with a simulated one.
(With inputs from PTI)