If there is one adjective that the AR / VR industry would like to put behind it, it must be “bulky”. Especially for VR hardware, it has proved difficult to move away from designs that need large, heavy lenses to bring displays into the right focus. However, new research from Nvidia and Stanford shows a path not only to the creation of thinner, more immersive VR devices, but also to the convergence between AR and VR optical technologies. This could speed up the development of both types of devices.
In a paper presented at the upcoming SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference in August, the Nvidia-Stanford Joint Research Team presents holographic glasses design with displays only 2.5 millimeters thick. This is a huge reduction compared to most VR headphones available today, which protrude a few inches from the user’s face largely due to the required space between lenses and displays.