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Cambridge, UK, startup VividQ has revealed a new prototype demonstrator headset based around its holographic augmented reality (AR) technology at the SPIE AR/VR/MR event in Moscone West. The world premier showcases the fruits of a developmental effort with Arizona- headquartered Compound Photonics, something that it is hoped will help accelerate the adoption of AR/MR devices across a range of industrial and consumer applications. Software-focused VividQ says its approach is able to generate highly realistic holograms of any real or computer-generated objects, by reflecting laser light from a high-resolution display capable of modulating the phase of the reflected light’s wavefront. “The phase liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) displays produced by Compound Photonics are ideal for this application as they give extremely precise phase control and high resolution in a compact and lightweight form factor,” announced the UK firm. Its team has developed the a l gor i t hms and software to compute the highly complex phase patterns, and to project holograms in real time, on relatively low-power computing platforms. Speaking during the AR/VR/MR conference sessions, VividQ CEO and co-founder Darran Milne said that the prototype display “showcases exactly what holographic technology can do for AR.” He added that future work would look towards mixed reality (MR) applications, with the aim of reducing the power budget, expanding the field of view, and increasing resolution to create a more immersive experience for users. Echoing the company’s own tag-line, Milne told attendees: “The world isn’t flat, so why is your display?” VividQ believes that AR devices adopting the holographic approach devised with Compound Photonics will be able to solve some of the major issues that have plagued AR headsets so far, namely eye fatigue and vergence-accommodation conflict, which can make users feel nauseous. “These solutions will provide sufficiently bright images at low power and reduce the overall size and weight of future headset designs,” VividQ added. Compound Photonics CEO Yiwan Wong highlighted the company’s development of LCoS phase display solutions based on a small (3.015 μm) pixel pitch, and with up to 4 million available pixels. “We see VividQ’s computational holography software as a key enabler to providing a complete solution for holographic AR/ MR applications,” he said. News of the collaboration comes just a couple of weeks after VividQ said it had raised a further $3.1million in funding from investors including Osram Ventures.

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