Menu

INSIGHTS

Pushing Boundaries With VividQ’s Holographic Headset Prototype

31 July 2020

Over the last few months, we have seen some of the biggest tech companies investigate ways of delivering the Holy Grail – an augmented reality (AR) device meeting requirements of the mass consumer market. Some of the highest-profile public announcements include Facebook’s research into holographic optics, the 1D Eyewear project by Google’s Interaction Lab and Apple’s acquisition of Akonia Holographics.

These projects are just some examples of the developments in the industry, pushing us closer to the goal of bringing virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) to the masses. At VividQ, our vision is to reshape the future of digital display with computer-generated holography (CGH), and AR devices are one of the most important applications to get right first. Over the last 3 years, we have been working closely with some of the most innovative hardware and components manufacturers to prototype devices that bring holographic display, powered by VividQ, to life. With recent global events changing how we work and play, the concept of immersive AR display has never looked more attractive to consumers looking to virtual spaces for creativity and collaboration.

In support of our vision, VividQ has been awarded an Innovate UK Smart Grant of £334,000 to undertake groundbreaking industrial research and development of a first-of-its-kind Holographic Headset prototype. The upcoming prototype device will provide a hardware platform to showcase VividQ’s latest cutting-edge software for high-quality Computer-Generated Holography (CGH), providing an enhanced visual experience and ergonomics, with the best-in-class optics and tracking provided by our partners.

In holographic display, a laser beam is modulated with an interference pattern (hologram) displayed on an LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) panel, before it reaches the eye. By engineering the light this way, holography offers visual experiences which allow users to focus and defocus on virtual objects naturally, just as in real life. VividQ software generates those holographic images in real time on a standard GPU, by computing high-quality, 3D holograms and controlling the laser light. Our technology allows viewers to experience 3D scenes, retaining all necessary depth cues, and thereby eliminating Vergence-Accommodation Conflict (VAC), a common problem causing visual discomfort and fatigue in currently available AR/VR headsets.

VividQ software, based on proprietary algorithms and IP, is key to providing a high-resolution three-dimensional holographic experience with full depth of field. These features, demonstrated by our latest prototype headset, will provide a visual experience that feels natural, realistic and immersive. The device will be available to original equipment and design manufacturers (OEMs and ODMs) as a reference in their pursuit to integrate holographic display in next-generation consumer electronics.

Our industrial research will integrate the latest developments in optical systems (in particular secondary optics) for holographic projection, and VividQ’s newest software release, to improve the image quality in the headset considerably. The prototype will also serve as an experimental testbed for a new generation of hardware components such as lasers and Spatial Light Modulators (SLMs), whose functionality has never before been demonstrated for consumer electronics products. The dream of being immediately and completely immersed in an interactive virtual world is a shared desire among many, and this project will show a clear path towards holographic smartglasses, capturing audience imagination and leading to consumer mass adoption. Experimentation will also be conducted on other key features of holography for consumer AR including:

  • Less visual ‘noise’ with improved colour balance and contrast;
  • Increased brightness levels, adapting to both indoor and outdoor settings;
  • New projection techniques to achieve an industry-leading FOV;
  • Expansion of the viewing area (eye-box), with pupil tracking integration;
  • Support for Virtual Reality (VR).

To learn more about holography, collaborate on or to demo the upcoming holographic prototype headset, email us at holo@vivid-q.com.