Augmented and virtual reality headsets are intended to transport users directly into other environments, worlds, and experiences.
While the technology is already high in demand due to its immersive quality, there could be a future where holographic displays look even more real. The Stanford Computational Imaging Lab has linked its optics and artificial intelligence expertise to pursue these better displays.
Study addresses that current augmented and virtual reality displays only show 2D images to each viewer’s eyes, rather than 3D or holographic images like we see in the actual world. “They are not psychologically real,” Gordon Wetzstein, associate professor of electrical engineering and director of the Stanford Computational Imaging Lab, noted.
Wetzstein and his colleagues are working on ways to bridge the gap between simulation and reality while developing more visually appealing and easier-to-read displays. For example, the SIGGRAPH Asia paper offers a more realistically representing the physics that would apply to a 3D scene if it existed in the real world.
While the Science Advances paper describes a method for reducing the speckling distortion that is common in regular laser-based holographic displays. The visual quality of existing holographic displays has been limited for decades.
Scientists have already attempted to develop algorithms to overcome each of these issues. Wetzstein and his colleagues created algorithms, but they did so using neural networks, a type of artificial intelligence that tries to mimic how the human brain learns.
This is referred to as “neural holography.” The lab’s first application of its neural holography technique to 3D settings is highlighted in a new SIGGRAPH Asia publication. Even when portions of the image are purposely shown as far away or out-of-focus. This technique provides high-quality, realistic representations of scenes with visual depth.
Wetzstein and Peng anticipate that in the future years. This combination of new artificial intelligence techniques and virtual and wearables will become more common in various industries.
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