According to foreign media sources, Stanford University and Nvidia researchers have teamed up to develop a VR headset that looks more like ordinary glasses. Although the appearance of the two lenses will highlight two circuit bands, it is thinner than any VR headset currently on the market.
According to a research paper published in Siggraph 2022, “a major obstacle to the widespread adoption of VR technology is the sheer size of existing VR displays and the resulting discomfort of wearing them.”
Currently, a major challenge for VR headsets moving into the mainstream is their limited form factor, with existing devices still being quite bulky and heavy. This is because VR headsets are generally based on the principle of magnification, by the lens to magnify the image provided by the miniature display, so this requires the device to provide a certain distance space to achieve image magnification.
The head display, called “holographic glasses,” provides a full-color 3D hologram using optics that are only 2.5 millimeters thick. Compared to the way traditional VR headsets work, this display device uses lenses that magnify a smaller display at a certain distance from it. Shrinking all the necessary components to such a small size is a huge step forward for VR technology.
The “holographic glasses” prototype uses “pancake lenses,” a concept that has been proposed a few times in the past few years. Not only do these “pancake lenses” allow for a smaller size, but they reportedly have a few other benefits: they reportedly offer an unlimited resolution, meaning you can increase the resolution of your VR headset, and they offer a field of view of up to 200 degrees.
Compared to the VR headsets currently on the market, this one is a major breakthrough in terms of form and weight. It weighs only 60 grams. By comparison, the Meta Quest 2, the lightest VR headset on the market today, weighs 503 grams.
However, it’s also important to note that this product is currently limited to the research lab, and not a product that will soon be available on the market. It also has a few limitations: while it has a wider field of view (FOV) than current VR headsets, the glasses-sized display currently offers only a 22.8-degree field of view, and the test prototype offers only 16.1 degrees.