Facebook is Planning to Bring Holographic Optics for Thin and Lightweight VR

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Facebook is one of the curious companies interested in the field of Virtual Reality(VR). For that, they keep researching and finding new optics design that will improve the form factor, comfort, and optical performance. Now they have made something really cool that will bring VR more closer to us.


Facebook to Bring Holographic Optics

Last fall, Chief Scientist at Facebook Reality Labs(FRL) introduced new miniaturization progress in VR with Half Dome 2 and 3, at Oculus Connect 6 event. The two prototypes examine how varifocal displays can improve visual and physical comfort.

Now, via the virtual SIGGRAPH conference, Facebook is moving forward in the field of making good wearable VR optics with a new optical architecture that will be very compact and will have better visual performance.

Facebook Holographic Optics
This image shows our research device display modules mounted into a frame. This research device was used to capture the green image shown below (some components are mounted externally).(VIA Facebook)

In the work, “Holographic Optics for Thin and Lightweight Virtual Reality”, researchers Andrew Maimone and Junren Wang have proposed a new design of near-eye displays that combine holographic optics and polarization-based optical folding.

This approach and design will possibly help in creating new and better VR hardware, like sunglasses. The technology makes the optics more thin and practical.

The new technology achieves a thickness of 9mm in a “proof-of-concept research” device and compares well with the field of view that comes in today’s consumer VR products.

Facebook Holographic Optics

The new technology ditches the conventional approach and uses holographic optics that will make the big VR headsets a bit smaller and practical to wear, the new technology will also bring a wider color gamut.

Facebook Holographic Optics
Shown on the left, a photograph captured with the proof-of-concept research device shown above. On the right, a photograph taken through a larger full-color benchtop prototype. We are currently working on achieving full color on the smaller research prototype.(VIA Facebook)
Facebook Holographic Optics
This figure illustrates the gamut of human-visible colors. The sRGB space represents a common set of colors reproducible on many displays today. The outer triangle represents the larger set of colors reproducible on our research prototype.(VIA Facebook)

With this new development, Facebook is moving a step ahead towards making AR/VR very practical and easy to use in day to day life. This is all still in the research phase and surely will have some limitations but when it will come to reality, that will be really interesting to see.



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