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Consumer AR/VR Headsets Focus on Nontraditional Optics

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With their eyes on consumer markets, designers of augmented and virtual reality technologies work to resolve long-standing challenges with freeform optics and precompetitive research.

FAROOQ AHMED, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

The promise of commercial augmen-ted and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies seems always to be just around the corner. Nearly three decades have passed since the Sega Corporation announced its Sega VR gaming headset, which was one of the first of its kind. But the Japanese company could not produce it in volume for home use. North Inc.’s Focals glasses allow wearers to discreetly view notifications from their smartphones. Courtesy of North Inc. Despite enthusiasm for such

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Published: March 2019
Glossary
augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that integrates digital information, typically in the form of computer-generated graphics, images, or data, with the real-world environment in real-time. AR enhances the user's perception of the physical world by overlaying or combining digital content onto the user's view of the real world, often through devices like smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, or specialized AR headsets. Key features and principles of augmented reality: Real-time...
virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment or experience that can be interacted with and explored by an individual using electronic devices, such as a headset with a display. VR aims to create a sense of presence, immersing users in a computer-generated world that can be entirely fictional or a replication of the real world. It often involves the use of specialized hardware and software to provide a fully immersive and interactive experience. ...
freeform optics
Freeform optics refers to the design and fabrication of optical surfaces that do not follow traditional symmetric shapes, such as spheres or aspheres. Unlike standard optical components with symmetric and rotationally invariant surfaces, freeform optics feature non-rotationally symmetric and often complex surfaces. These surfaces can be tailored to meet specific optical requirements, offering greater flexibility in designing optical systems and achieving improved performance. Key points about...
multiplexing
The combination of two or more signals for transmission along a single wire, path or carrier. In most optical communication systems this is referred to as wavelength division multiplexing, in which the combination of different signals for transmission are imbedded in multiple wavelengths over a single optical channel. The optical channel is a fiber optic cable or any other standard optical waveguide.
eye box
The area in a 2-D or 3-D microdisplay viewer within which the eye can move and still see the entire image.
augmented realityvirtual realityARVRheadsetAR headsetfreeform opticsSega CorporationgamingHong Huamultiplexingeye boxvergence-accommodation conflictVACStefan AlexanderwearablesFocals glassesOptical Design ChallengeGuanjun TanPancharatnam-Berry phase lensesUniversity of ArizonaUniversity of RochesterJannick RollandLighTopTechFacebook Reality LabsUniversity of North CarolinaUniversity of Central FloridaFeatures

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