Please ignore the bizarre antennas.
In the virtual reality industry's quest to provide users with a truly immersive experience, one very clunky obstacle has stood in their way: the headsets themselves.
The current VR goggles on the market are notoriously large, awkward, and really just cumbersome.
But according to PC Gamer, it looks like a group of researchers may have come up with a brilliant solution. They developed a VR headset that actually resembles normal eyeglasses — and not, you know, oversized scuba goggles.
The "Holographic Glasses" are a collaborative effort between Stanford University researchers and AI developer NVIDIA. They don't exactly look like a pair of glasses just yet — the lenses are quite thick, and the headset also features two bizarre-looking holographic ribbons, one stuck to each lens, that extend upwards like a pair of antennae.
But if they work even remotely as well as the team claims they do in a new paper — which hasn't been peer reviewed yet — these glasses could be a major stride towards the wholly immersive VR technology that the likes of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been dreaming of.
According to the paper, these "Holographic Glasses" were created using "pancake" lenses, a complex optics system that allows for a shorter distance between the VR-compatible screen and headset lenses.
While pancake lenses aren't a new concept, they've only been able to deliver two-dimensional images — which isn't exactly immersive.
In a major departure from previous pancakes prototypes, the researchers claim their reworked "flapjack" optics can deliver "full-color 3D holographic images," as well as an impressive 200-degree field view — and, of course, a smaller profile overall.
While these goggles have yet to hit the market — or be tested outside of a lab, for that matter — this looks like some pretty promising research.
READ MORE: Researchers find way to shrink a VR headset down to normal glasses size [PC Gamer]
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