Video from a talk given by the director of Display Systems Research at Facebook Reality Labs offers an eye-opening overview of the future of virtual reality headset optical designs.
Video of Douglas Lanman’s talk was posted this week, nearly half a year after he delivered it at the Electronic Imaging symposium in January in San Francisco. That places the talk a few months after the head of Facebook’s VR and AR research, Michael Abrash, delivered an annual update at Oculus Connect, and right before in-person events worldwide were cancelled due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
Lanman previously worked at NVIDIA where he developed ideas related to near-eye light fields. Now with more than six years at Facebook he occasionally delivers talks that encourage other researchers to take employment at FRL while divulging a range of advances to VR visuals being explored.
Much of this research has been explained before, including Half Dome varifocal prototypes which are aimed at offering greater visual comfort in VR by mitigating the vergence-accommodation conflict plaguing practically all current consumer designs. With this talk, however, Lanman seemed more convinced really good eye tracking is going to be an important part of future advances.
If you don’t have time for the full presentation, you can watch a clipped down version here:
Still, the one hour and 10 minute talk offers a relatively concise and scientifically accurate overview of the cutting edge of VR headset optical research. We recommend giving it a watch if you’d like to see the kinds of ideas, and challenges, one of the best-funded VR research groups on the planet are grappling with to improve future headset designs.