A quick stroll through the Emerging Technologies section of SIGGRAPH usually reveals a collection of university projects and the latest Disney Research endeavor. However, we don't usually see the likes of NVIDIA amongst the fold there. This time around, though, the component maker is showing off an undertaking from its Research sector: near-eye light field displays. To show the project off, a pair of OLED mircodisplays were installed on a glasses-like frame with a box for the electronics stashed up top. Those Sony ECX332A panels measure 15.36 x 8.64mm wield a resolution of 1,280 x 720 through 24-bit color pixels (which equates to a smidge over 83 pixels per millimeter). The diminutive displays open up the door for thinner and lighter head-mounted units that can sort "accurate accommodation, convergence and binocular-disparity cues."
The light field that's constructed directly over the pupil allows the viewer to focus at multiple depths and create a field of view of about 70 degrees. Both of those aspects were quite apparent to our peepers upon getting locked in for a quick demo. Despite being situated so close to the eye, the unit still provides some sharp images that we witnessed first hand. Of course, the close proximity causes some pixel loss at the hands of a decreased spacial resolution. One pretty neat aspect to this whole system is that software tweaks can be made to account for someone's glasses or contacts prescription -- software that's powered by NVIDIA GPUs and OpenGL, of course. Without having to modify the hardware, changes to the microdisplays are sorted sans the need to switch to another set or make physical adjustments. For a bit more explanation of the unit, check out the video that resides just past the break and full findings that were presented here in Anaheim at the coverage link that follows.
NVIDIA Research near-eye light field displays protoype eyes-onSee all photos