The Swiss startup Creal is working on the integration of a new display technique for virtual reality. These should bring more visual comfort thanks to a rendering that imitates our sight. For this, the young team uses light-field technology (also called plenoptic in French) that is found on some cameras and cameras.
Currently, virtual reality headsets have a stereoscopic display system. Two slightly different points of view of the same image are offered respectively to each eye. This difference, the parallax of its scientific name, creates the effect of relief that we observe. Limited, however, this technique fails to reproduce exactly how the human eye sees. A whole aspect of the vision is missing. This is where light-field technology comes into play. It allows you to focus according to where the eye is looking.
This lack of focus causes the phenomenon of accommodation-vergence conflict. This results in the brain receiving conflicting information between the distance of a virtual object and that at which it needs to focus. Eyes fatigue results, and generally a binding effort for vision. With light-field technology, all these problems are solved. The sharp and blurry parts of an image are respected and the brain sees more clearly. In addition, it allows you to interact with objects closer to you and make reading in VR more enjoyable.
However, there remains a big obstacle to overcome, namely the miniaturization of this technology. Indeed, the hardware required for the light-field is still a little too large. It certainly cannot be integrated with VR and AR headsets on the market. This is however Creal's goal in the long term. However, it is possible that it will take several years to succeed. The young company has benefited from a fundraising of 7,4 million dollars. Let us hope that the current crisis does not hit them hard.
The suisse startup is not the only one working on this technology. Magic Leap has already implemented a light version on its glasses. They use lenses with variable focal length (varifocal). We also know that Facebook is showing interest in this technique. Bodes well for the ever-improving VR and AR.