Friday, November 1, 2019
Almalence Digital Lens is a computational technology overcoming the limits of HMD optical performance. Using eye tracking data along with a measured profile of lens aberrations, it increases the visible resolution and removes chromatic aberrations across the entire field of view, at any gaze direction. It does a job of a corrective optical element while adding no extra size or weight to the HMD device.
It is commonly accepted that picture quality and visual fidelity are crucial factors for a truly immersive VR experience and for VR adoption in general. Few realize though that simply increasing the display pixel count is not enough, because not only does it matter what the display shows but what the user can see, and the quality of the visible picture is actually limited by the fundamental constraints affecting the optical performance of HMD lenses, namely a moving lens element (eye pupil) and overall size constraint, limiting the complexity of the optical system.
Limited HMD optical performance is the main reason why the substantial increase of display resolution in HTC Vive Pro over the original Vive did not bring much of a visible improvement. Implemented as a software plugin for Vive Pro Eye, the Digital Lens literally makes the Vive Pro's high resolution visible.
"It is common now to compare VR head mounted displays to the computer displays of the 70's or 80's. Digital Lens removes a fundamental roadblock on the way for VR HMDs to achieve the visual clarity matching XXI century standards," said Eugene Panich, CEO of Almalence. "We are excited to make this technology directly available to the app developers, allowing to provide higher picture quality experience to their users immediately without waiting for the technology to be adopted by the HMD OEMs, and to gain additional value from investment in eye tracking hardware."