Nvidia teams up with Stanford researchers for better VR tech

New display tech aims to persistent focus problems from VR, offering clearer and more effective visuals -- and the first products featuring the technology could ship in 2018.

Nvidia is leaping into VR with a new technology that is designed to eliminate some of the most persistent problems with the tech -- focus issues and motion sickness. The new technology is being developed in alliance with Stanford University, nearby its headquarters.

A Forbes report quotes Nvidia's senior director of research, David P. Luebke, who says, "Almost all of the VR setups are pretty uncomfortable to use if it’s within arm’s reach because of depth cues like stereo and accommodation. This is because of the vergence-accommodation conflict, which is how much the lens of your eye has to change to bring sharp focus to your retina."

Meanwhile, Stanford University assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department Gordon Wetzstein says, "At Stanford, we have developed a new display technology, dubbed the light field stereoscope, that addresses the vergence-accommodation conflict."

To boil things down, the solution involves using two layered displays in the same headset to create a sense of depth. The first products featuring the tech could hit within three to five years. Dedicated consumer VR headsets will ship from Oculus, HTC, and Sony next year.

Luebke co-authored a paper with Oculus' researcher Douglas Lanman in 2013 which proposed displays that could better address convergence and other errors; at this year's SIGGRAPH, Wetzstein and co-authors presented their own findings, which you can peruse at the Stanford Computational Imaging site. The image above comes from that research.

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