Cambridge Engineers Have Developed A Futuristic Augmented Reality Rig

Cambridge Engineers Have Developed A Futuristic Augmented Reality Rig

Engineers from the University of Cambridge have come up with a head-mounted display for augmented reality (AR) that overcomes nausea or eye strain side effects that are generally experienced by users.

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The head mounted display (HMD) consists of a scalable enlarged eye-box which is designed for a comfortable AR experience. Images are projected onto the retina by the use of a pixel-beam scanning to have a focused image irrespective of the distance between the user and projection or eye focus.

The display rig was developed by researchers from the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) along with Huawei European Research Centre, Munich. The HMD makes use of partially reflective beam splitters to create a virtual opening for light, an “exit pupil”. The virtual opening allows narrow and parallel pixel beams to pass through to produce high quality images that are unaffected by change in focus.

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Researchers conducted tests with, at least, 50 participants between the ages of 16 and 60. After the tests, they concluded that the 3D effect was convincing in case of object renders between 20 cm to 10 m. An important observation was that no participant complained of eye strain or nausea even after prolonged use. The study was published in the journal, Research.

The HMD can be used in CAD (computer-aided design) development to help designers create better models. It can be used in infrastructure and construction and defense applications. As it is just a resized glasses-based prototype of the existing bigger prototype, it has an advantage for portability. Prof. Daping Chu, the lead researcher and Director of CAPE in a mentioned, “This can (HMD) help the user to see displayed real world and virtual objects clearly in an immersive environment, regardless of the quality of the user’s vision.”

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