Technology 2 min read

New AR Head-Mounted Display Offers Better Realistic Viewing

Cambridge and Huawei researchers teamed up to develop a new AR head-mounted display that offers AR viewing experience without the side effects.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Cambridge engineers have teamed up with Huawei European Research Centre, in Munich to develop a new augmented reality head-mounted display. 

The engineers equipped the HMD with an enlarged, scalable, eye box, with an increased field view of 36 degrees. This will enable users to enjoy a comfortable 3D viewing experience.

Also, it uses pixel beam scanning to display images directly on the retina. So, the image will always remain in focus, irrespective of the distance on which the user is fixating on.

The AR head-mounted display uses partially reflective beam splitters to create an extra “exit pupil” – a virtual opening through which light travels.

When this combines with narrow pixel beams that are traveling parallel to each other and do not disperse in different directions, the result is a high-quality image. What’s more, the image produced remains unaffected, even when the eyes are continually switching focus.

In a statement about the project, the director of the Center for Photonic Devices and Sensors, who is also the director of CAPE, Daping Chu said:

” It (The AR) 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.”

The engineers confirmed these features in a subjective user study with over 50 participants.

Testing the New AR Head-Mounted Display

Findings from the study suggest that the 3D effect is “very convincing” for 20 centimeters to 10 meters. Also, the HMD produces images and videos with “vivid color” and high contrast, with no observable pixel.

After a prolonged period of usage – a few hours to a day – none of the participants reported the aftereffects associated with HMDs. These include eyestrain and nausea.

So, which environment is the augmented reality head-mounted display suitable for?

Well, anywhere. Since the HMD’s brightness is really high, it’s suitable for both outdoor and indoor uses.

Current research is exploring several potential applications. These include CAD (computer-aided design) development, outdoor sport, hospitality, defense applications, data manipulation, among others.

The researchers are also exploring the possibility of shrinking the size of the current HMD prototype into a glass-based format.

Read More: Facebook Working On Smart Glasses with Ray-Ban

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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