Virtual reality is well on its way to becoming the next big thing in entertainment, but one problem still sits in its way: VR sickness. Stanford researches are developing a VR headset that uses another new technology, light-field cameras, to address this issue, according to Engadget.
Light-field cameras not only record the intensity and colour of light, but also the direction that the light is coming from. By taking in this light information, the camera is able to refocus the image after the photo has been taken.
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This technology is being reversed for use inside a VR headset to send directional light into your eye, replicating a real-world environment's light in the virtual space, and allowing your eyes to focus naturally. The research headset has transparent LCD panels which are layered, each one representing a light field with the right depth information.
There are downsides to this technology though. The display will have to be brighter and have a higher resolution than current VR headsets to address image artifacts that can occur. It will also need four times the power to render the picture. So far this tech has only been used on 3D rendered images, but the paper says it will also work with footage shot with a light-field camera.
At the moment virtual reality experiences are often cut short due to fatigue and nausea, but when was the last time you watched a film or played a game for 10 minutes? This technology, and other advancements in eye-tracking to recreate realistic depth of field, could be the stepping stone needed to get VR from show floors into living rooms.
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