This talk describes ThinVR: An approach to build near-eye VR displays that simultaneously provides a very wide (180 degree horizontal) FOV and a compact form factor. The key is to replace traditional large optics with curved microlens arrays and to place the optics in front of curved displays. We had to design custom heterogeneous optics to make this approach work, because many lenslets are viewed off the central axis. To ensure the existence of an adequate eyebox and to minimize pupil swim distortions, we had to design and build a custom optimizer to produce an acceptable heterogeneous lenslet array. We prove this approach works through prototypes with both static and dynamic displays. To our knowledge, this is the first work to both convincingly demonstrate and analyze the potential for curved, heterogeneous microlens arrays to enable compact, wide FOV near-eye VR displays.
Joshua Ratcliff is a Research Scientist in Intel Labs with over 10 years of experience. His research interests are in the intersection of HCI, graphics, and display systems. He holds 15+ patents in the areas of XR, light field displays, graphical interfaces and wearable computing.
Alexey Supikov is a Research Staff Scientist in Intel Labs, investigating novel computational display approaches and digital holography. He has 20+ years of experience in the areas of computer graphics, computational geometry, parallel computing, HW platforms research, numerical optimization and physics simulation. His track record includes 14 publications (including SIGGRAPH and Eurographics) and 20+ patents on ray tracing/global illumination, light field displays, computer vision and computational holography.
Santiago Alfaro is a Research Scientist in Intel Labs where he builds prototypes for complex optical experiments while also designing user experiences of future VR, AR and Light Field technologies. He has also explored novel visual experiences and haptic interfaces. He joined Intel Labs in 2015 after finishing his Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab. Before that he received a M.S. in Design Technology from the Media Lab and a Master of Industrial Design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.