Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nano Composite Materials Empower New Wave Guide Breakthroughs

Display Week's Best in Show small exhibit winner DigiLens is looking to do no less than change everything about how AR/VR interfaces with humans. 

DigiLens had a killer demo that was one of the most popular at the show -- you got to check out their technology from the back of a BMW motorcycle. 

The group, founded by Dr. Jonathan Waldren, CTO, says its holographic optics based on the new composite material solve the latency issues around eye tracking with the company's switchable Brag Grating approach (as opposed to surface relief grating.) It delivers a ground breaking 40-degree field of view spec (versus 25- to 30-degrees using conventional methods) with an upside potential for 50-degrees by the end of the year, and up to 90-degrees in the future. 

A specially equipped motorcycle helmet served as the interface. 

Waldren showed us his version of the future, in which a person's gaze is constantly being tracked by a non-intrusive AR or VR system, feeding that data to the system at very low latency. "This is early days, think Steve Jobs in the Xerox PARC lab seeing the mouse interface for the first time. 

The nano materials breakthrough "...allows development of holographic system with an 8X higher index," Waldren said. The coming world of AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality) will gain an immeasurable boost from a low latency visual system that both delivers the image and knows exactly where the user is looking. The display not only shows content, but discerns user intent, augmenting and responding in a natural hands-free mode. And just as the mouse empowered a whole new graphic user interface, decades ago, reliable gaze and eye tracking technology has the potential to change everything yet again. -- Steve Sechrist

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