Stanford Researchers Unveil Virtual Reality Headset That Reduces Eye Fatigue, Nausea
Publication DateAugust 3 2015
DescriptionNew virtual reality headset technology developed at Stanford University provides a more natural viewing experience. With current "flat" stereoscopic virtual reality headsets, each eye sees only one image and the depth of field is also limited. However, Stanford professor Gordon Wetzstein says in the real world, people see slightly different perspectives of the same three-dimensional scene at different positions of their eyes' pupil. Wetzstein also notes people focus on different depths, and the disconnect between what people see and feel can cause motion sickness. The Stanford team used light-field technology to create a sort of hologram of multiple, slightly different perspectives for each eye, enabling users to freely move their focus and experience depth in the virtual scene. "You have a virtual window, which ideally looks the same as the real world, whereas today you basically have a [two-dimensional] screen in front of your eye," Wetzstein says. The prototype headset, made with off-the-shelf parts, incorporates two stacked, transparent liquid-crystal displays with a spacer. "Virtual reality gives us a new way of communicating among people, of telling stories, of experiencing all kinds of things remotely or closely," Wetzstein says. "It's going to change communication between people on a fundamental level."