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Hi! I’m Bernard Kress, Partner Optical Architect at Microsoft/Hololens. I’m working on developing next generation AR experiences through the introduction of novel optical technologies and architectures. Ask me anything!
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Immersive modes, such as Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality headsets, have the power to revolutionize how we work, play, teach, learn and shop. Enterprise already offers solutions for specific AR tasks in engineering, manufacturing, design, health care, architecture, retail and gaming; return on investment is mainly cost avoidance (shorter learning cycles, less errors, better communication, productivity and yields, etc.). However, most actors involved in developing the AR ecosystem (from hardware to app development platform to apps and content) agree that it will take a long time for hardware to hit the consumer level comfort required for mass adoption (5 to 10 years). Some of the hardware issues to solve, specifically from an optical engineering point of view, are: • Higher FOV and higher resolution through active foveation • Vergence Accommodation Conflict (VAC) mitigation through varifocal, multifocal, light field or true holographic display • Pixel occlusion for HDR for more “realistic” holograms • Higher brightness over a decent eye box for external usage (lower power, higher brightness / contrast displays and high efficient optics) • More accurate, less power, more compact IR and visible sensors (sensor hardware fusion: Head tracking, eye tracking, gesture tracking, 3D scanning, multispectral) There are many other challenges for the ultimate consumer AR experience (such as overall CG, size and weight, battery life, head dissipation, 5G connectivity for cloud rendering, etc…) which we will not discuss today. If you would like more information outside of this AMA, I will be at SPIE Photonics Europe in Strasbourg, France next month for the Digital Optics for Immersive Displays conference. You can also take my free course “An Introduction to VR, AR, MR and Smart Eyewear: Market Expectations, Hardware Requirements and Investment Patterns” on the SPIE Digital Library. It was recorded live at SPIE Photonics West in January. Enjoy!