With this concept of glasses, Nvidia corrects a major flaw in VR headsets

With this concept of glasses, Nvidia corrects a major flaw in VR headsets

One of the main obstacles to the democratization of virtual reality headsets is their imposing design. Nvidia wants to remedy this problem and is working on a solution with Stanford University.

Virtual (and augmented) reality remains a promising technology, whose potential is barely touched upon. One of the main criticisms regarding the difficulty of VR headsets to be adopted by the general public remains their general appearance. For the most part they are imposing and seem to immerse their users in a universe of science fiction. Aware of the problem, the manufacturers are trying to remedy it and it is Nvidia’s turn to address this problem.

The chameleon firm has just published a document (PDF) in which it explains that it wants to develop holographic glasses really thin for virtual reality. For this project, Nvidia decided to collaborate with Stanford University.

The graphics card giant first mentions the VR headset problem currently available. He explains that they use a « lens [qui] enlarges the image of a small micro-display ». A method that needs space and that can explain the size of current helmets. Various solutions are explored to reduce the necessary gap between the lens and the micro-screen; but these have the main drawback of offering a low definition. Nvidia and Stanford University offer a different model; based on a holographic screen proposing a 2D or 3D image and which measures only 2.5mm thick.

Nvidia holographic glasses
© Screenshot/
Jonghyun Kim

To achieve this result, they use a device called Spatial Light Modulator (or Spatial Light Modulator) to create a hologram right in front of the user’s eyes. The method adopted by Nvidia offers the possibility of modifying the components of a ray of light. It is used in particular by overhead projectors.

The future of VR must go through glasses

In order to improve the quality of the images, the researchers also rely on “artificial intelligence techniques” for “accelerate the calculation of computer-generated holograms”. Nvidia’s ultra-thin VR glasses project is still in its infancy and is not ready to hit the market. However, they testify to the potential and the interest shown by manufacturers in this technology. Several months ago, the Facebook Reality Labs had already presented a prototype of virtual reality glasses thinner and more comfortable. As early as 2015, Microsoft also made an impression by unveiling the HoloLens glasses/helmet.

Each time, the objective is to make the device more discreet in order to convince the general public. A more format close to a pair of ordinary glasses seems to be the best solution. Apple is also expected at the turn and could help the sector to democratize with its “Apple Glass”.

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