The Light-Field Stereoscope

Emerging Technologies


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The Light-Field Stereoscope

Over the last few years, virtual reality has re-emerged, and it is now feasible at low cost with inexpensive cellphone components. In particular, advances in high-resolution micro displays, low-latency orientation trackers, and modern GPUs facilitate extremely immersive experiences. But comfortable long-term experiences and wide-spread user acceptance are subject to the vergence-accommodation conflict inherent in all stereoscopic displays.

This project presents the first factored near-eye display technology that supports high image resolutions as well as focus cues (accommodation and retinal blur). It is built on Brewster's original stereoscope augmented with modern factored light-field synthesis via stacked liquid-crystal panels. Conceptually, the light-field stereoscope is closely related to emerging factored-light-field displays, but it has unique characteristics compared to the television-type displays explored thus far. Most importantly, the required field of view is extremely small – just the size of the pupil – which allows for rank-1 factorizations to produce correct or nearly correct focus cues.

The project demonstrates significant improvements in resolution and retinal-blur quality over previously proposed near-eye displays.

Fu-Chung Huang
NVIDIA Research, Stanford University

David Luebke
NVIDIA Research

Gordon Wetzstein
Stanford University