CAMBRIDGE, UK – By 2030, augmented, virtual and mixed reality optics and display markets are expected to total more than $28 billion, according to IDTechEx.
With Covid limiting physical interaction, virtual communication and interaction will be the normal for many years to come, the firm says.
The optical system is made up of a micro-display and imaging optics and can be LCD, OLED, MOLED, or LCoS, for example. In VR, a lens then directs the image from the display into the user’s eye. In AR, a combiner is required to combine the display image with that of the real world.
Optics influence the immersiveness of an AR/MR or a VR experience, says IDTechEx. If a user has God Rays, Rainbow effects, or headaches due to the vergence-accommodation issue, this can contribute to a negative experience. In the future, these problems will be overcome, and improvements and changes to the optical market in both AR/MR and VR devices are an important contributor to these trends. Displays also play an important part of the device. They create the image to be sent to the user. Different displays have different benefits: for example, a better brightness or a better color gamut. These benefits are more applicable for certain applications. For example, AR devices typically require a high brightness to see the image in outdoor sunlight.
Within VR devices, the main optics are Fresnel lenses. These lenses magnify the display for the user to see. The immersive experience for many users is defined by their first experience, says the firm. If this is a positive experience, there is a high likelihood they will continue to use the device.
VR devices have historically used OLED or LCD micro-displays, used in the smartphone industry for many years, and they are a mature, high-yield manufacturing choice. However, in AR/MR devices, LCoS displays are the most common because they provide a high brightness and good resolution quality for input to the optical waveguide.
Doctors have been wearing Microsoft Hololens headsets while working on the front lines of the Covid pandemic to aid them in care for patients. The use case for this project allows other clinicians to sit in another room, and by using Microsoft Teams, see a live video feed of the doctor who is treating the Covid-19 patients. By using the devices, staff reduced the amount of time they spend in a high-risk area by 83%.