If there’s one adjective that the AR/VR industry would love to put behind it, it’s got to be “bulky.” Especially for VR hardware, it has proven difficult to move away from designs that need large, heavy lenses in order to bring displays into proper focus. New research from Nvidia and Stanford, though, shows a path not just toward making slimmer, more immersive VR devices but also toward convergence between AR and VR optics technologies. That could accelerate the development of both kinds of devices.
In a paper submitted to August’s upcoming SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference, the joint Nvidia-Stanford research team lays out a design for holographic glasses with displays that are only 2.5 millimeters thick. That’s a massive reduction compared to most VR headsets available today, which stick out a few inches from a user’s face largely because of the space required between the lenses and displays.