Optics in Focus: The Vital Role of the Optical Interface in Unlocking the True Potential of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality has arrived. For the moment, the landscape is dominated by first generation products, but in the future, head-worn devices have the potential to be adopted as a part of everyday life, significantly enhancing and streamlining typical computing tasks, and opening up entirely new interactions.
However, much like previous revolutionary computing technology, augmented reality still faces significant challenges. Issues such as focal rivalry between real and computer-generated objects, and the decoupling of the natural vergence and accommodation responses for virtual objects rendered at various distances, prevent users from having meaningful interactions in AR environments. By not engaging our natural visual cues we are limiting users’ ability to accurately gauge distance and interact with any degree of precision with nearby computer-generated assets or interfaces, focal rivalry, and vergence-accommodation conflict (VAC) represent a critical threshold for quality in OST AR HMDs, and once solved will enable significantly faster adoption of AR across virtually all usage scenarios. In the short term, this will have a significant impact on the enterprise AR market, especially within current high-growth industry verticals.
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