Virtual Retinal Display: A Different Approach to Virtual Reality

No, I promise: It WON’T look like this.

The future equals to virtual reality. That seems to be the message developers are trying to say when more and more efforts are poured into the development of VR devices. The latest one is Avegant’s Virtual Retinal Display, of which the consumer-friendly prototype will be ready early next year.

VR itself is not something new. The idea has existed a long time in popular fiction, including the game .Hack franchise and the anime Sword Art Online. And of course, we’ve had other VR devices such as MyVu, HMZ-T1 and — the one that recently makes a notable ripple in the tech world — Oculus Rift.

But Virtual Retinal Display uses a different concept altogether. If its predecessors are developed by placing a high-resolution screen on the back side of the glasses-like exterior, Virtual Retinal Display projects light directly into your eyes. This concept allows for higher resolution imagery and less eye strain.

What many of us want to know next, of course, is how this device will react to the user’s eye movement. Its predecessors require us to move our heads if we want to see left and right. But because Virtual Retinal Display projects light directly into our eyes, is it possible to make a sidelong glance and still see those virtual surroundings¬†without turning our heads at all? It will be interesting to see how Avegant is going to address this matter.

Unlike Oculus Rift, Virtual Retinal Display is not created with VR gaming in mind. Avegant plans to focus its development towards mobile video entertainment. Which is why the company is currently developing a new design for the device — one that won’t embarrass the users when worn in public.

However, this does not mean VR gaming will not be possible. Given how in the past arcade gaming adapted to the development of TVs, I find there are a lot of reasons to remain optimistic.

You can follow the development of this fancy device in their Twitter: https://twitter.com/avegant

(Source: cNet, Kotaku)

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