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Scientists are making VR displays that match your eyesight

They can prevent headaches and nausea caused by virtual reality experiences.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
February 14, 2017
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One of the reasons why VR games and experiences cause headache and nausea is because headsets' displays can't optimize images for your eyes. A team of Stanford scientists seek to change that by developing VR displays that can adjust how images are shown based on your age and any other existing condition. For example, a lot of older people have a harder time focusing on objects close to them than younger people do. "Every person needs a different optical mode to get the best possible experience in VR," lead researcher Gordon Wetzstein explained.

The researchers have already begun testing software fixes and two different types of hardware options. Since the main problem with current displays is that they make it difficult for your eyes to focus on one point due to their proximity to your face, the prototypes were designed to solve the issue. One of them uses liquid lenses that can be adjusted by squeezing a dial, while the other works like binoculars and moves the display screen back and forth. Both of them incorporate an eye-tracking technology to figure out where you're looking.

At the moment, the prototypes can only help you if you are nearsighted, farsighted or presbyopic, but it can't help you with, say, astigmatism. The researchers say this is only the beginning, though, and they're hoping their "research findings [can] guide these developments in the industry."

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