Near-eye displays are redefining the future of portable devices, providing users with unparalleled virtual reality experiences. The main focus in developing these displays lies in creating immersive environments while ensuring visual comfort. While a larger field of view enhances immersion, addressing the Vergence-Accommodation-Conflict (VAC) is crucial for a comfortable viewing experience. Researchers have explored various innovative approaches to tackle these challenges head-on.
A significant breakthrough in near-eye displays is the integration of light field technology. However, early light field displays in virtual reality were hampered by their small size and low resolution, which resulted in constrained viewing angles and screen window effects. In a recent publication in the Journal of Optical Microsystems, researchers present a groundbreaking solution to these limitations by utilizing a 3.1-inch 3k3k Liquid Crystal (LC) display.
Transitioning to high-resolution Virtual Reality (VR) LCD displays presented material and process challenges that required careful consideration. The research underlines the importance of employing high-resolution Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) to address light field resolution issues. The authors delve into various strategies to enhance the resolution of LCDs, including aperture and contrast ratios through specialized pixel designs and driving techniques.
In addition to its application in VR displays, light field technology has promising applications beyond the realm of immersive experiences. The paper explores the novel application of light field technology in vision correction for VR systems. According to Yung-Hsun Wu, a researcher from Innolux Corporation in Taiwan, “By utilizing light field technology, both vision correction and the expansion of the eyebox are achieved, thereby elevating the overall virtual reality experience and enhancing user comfort.”
The paper investigates the optics of light field virtual reality, showcasing the creation of elemental image (EI) arrays through a lens array and spatially multiplexed light field optics. This approach generates volumetric virtual images that accurately simulate proper eye accommodation, eliminating the need to address VAC. The focus is on a recently developed high-resolution INNOLUX LCD that offers impressive resolution and pixel density.
To enhance visual realism, the authors introduced a 15-degree tilt between panels, which effectively expands the binocular field of view (FOV) and ensures exceptional angular resolution. The Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) across the image field guarantees the faithful reproduction of high-quality images, further enhancing the immersive experience.
Addressing visual correction within the realm of light field VR, the paper introduces a ray tracing-based graphical process called “corrected eye box mapping.” This process facilitates the correction of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism by taking into account parameters such as spherical power, cylinder power, and cylinder axis. By incorporating comprehensive visual correction, VR systems can deliver an enhanced visual experience to users.
The paper offers a comprehensive exploration of the development of high-resolution light field displays, covering advancements in display design, pixel architecture, and vision correction through the integration of light field technology. This research significantly contributes to the evolution of light field displays, paving the way for enriched visual experiences within high-resolution VR systems. As near-eye displays continue to shape the future of portable devices, these advancements hold great promise in elevating the visual experience for users worldwide.