Researchers at Nvidia and Stanford University claim to have developed a new technology that could make it possible for Apple to launch thinner VR a few years down the line, 9to5Mac reported. The Cupertino giant has already been rumored to be working on its own version of a virtual reality headset which many claim will be ready for launch by end-2022 or early 2023. However, while those plans will likely remain unchanged, the company is tipped to come up with thin Apple Glasses several years later.
One of the key differentiating factors of the technology developed by Nvidia and Stanford is holographic images. This, they claim takes care of one of the inherent deficiencies of conventional VR headsets.
As the researchers pointed out, “A major barrier to widespread adoption of VR technology, however, is the bulky form factor of existing VR displays and the discomfort associated with that [PerkinsCoie 2019, 2021]. This problem stems from the magnifier principle of VR display optics, in which a lens enlarges the image of a small microdisplay. This design necessitates a relatively large distance between microdisplay and lens, making today’s VR displays bulky and uncomfortable to wear.”
A way around to the problem is the use of what is described as the “pancake lens”, which happens to be a very flat lens the sort of which are used in headsets meant for military uses. Those can be like night vision goggles and such. However, image quality is never the same with ’pancake lenses’ as is the requisite with AR and VR headsets. Plus, they can’t generate 3D images as well.
“We propose a holographic near-eye display system that offers 2D or 3D image presentation to each eye with a device thickness of just a few millimeters,” the research note revealed as the solution to the problem.
Further, there is the issue of image quality that the researchers have to deal with, something that is typical of holographic images. Here is what the research note reveals about ways to take care of it.
“We propose a holographic near-eye display system that offers 2D or 3D image presentation to each eye with a device thickness of just a few millimeters. Our system builds on recent ideas that use artificial intelligence techniques to improve the image quality and accelerate the computation of computer-generated holograms (CGH) (e.g., [Peng et al. 2020; Shi et al. 2021]). With our design and experimental prototypes, we hope to stimulate new research and engineering directions toward ultra-thin all-day-wearable VR displays with form factors comparable to conventional eyeglasses.”
The above should also explain the presence of ribbon cables on the top of the prototype unit.
In the end, what can be said is that the Apple Glasses isn’t expected to be a reality before 2025. Till then there is going to be the AR and VR headset that the company is expected to come up with and is pegged to be more stylish than what the Occulus Quest 2 or the HTC Vibe has been like.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.