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Computer Science Colloquia

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
David Luebke
Guest Lecture in Computational Photography Class
Location: Rice Hall, Room 340
12:30 - 1:45

Near-Eye Light Field Displays

Public interest in virtual reality and augmented reality is at an all-time high, fueled by hobbyist products such as the Oculus Rift and Google Glass, and the exciting possibilities they represent. Near-eye display, which projects images directly into a viewer's eye, is the key technology challenge for such products. Why do such displays always have either bulky optics that hang off the face, such as the Rift, or very limited field of view, such as Glass? They confront a fundamental problem: the unaided human eye cannot accommodate, or focus, on objects placed in close proximity. The "Holy Grail" of near-eye display would be a display as thin, as light, and covering as wide a field of view as a pair of sunglasses. It should be capable of presenting different parts of the scene at different focal depths, solving the accommodation-convergence depth cue conflict that plagues virtual reality, 3D movies, and 3D TV. For extra credit, it should be able to accommodate a user's eyeglass prescription, replacing rather than going on top of the user's spectacles. We have built just such a display - with a couple of big caveats.

I will describe a new light-field-based approach to near-eye display that allows for dramatically thinner and lighter head-mounted display capable of depicting accurate accommodation, convergence, and binocular-disparity depth cues. Such near-eye light field displays depict sharp images from out-of-focus display elements by synthesizing light fields that correspond to virtual scenes located within the viewer's natural accommodation range. Building on related integral imaging displays and microlens-based light-field cameras, we optimize performance in the context of near-eye viewing. Near-eye light field displays support continuous accommodation of the eye throughout a finite depth of field; as a result, binocular configurations provide a means to address the accommodation convergence conflict that occurs with existing stereoscopic displays. We have built film-based static image prototypes (which I will hand around), a binocular OLED-based prototype head-mounted display (which I will show videos of) and a GPU-accelerated stereoscopic light field renderer (which invokes many interesting computer graphics research questions).

David Luebke helped found NVIDIA Research in 2006 after eight years teaching computer science on the faculty of the University of Virginia. David is currently Senior Director of Research at NVIDIA, where he continues the research on computer graphics and GPU architecture that led to his pioneering work on GPU computing. His honors include the NVIDIA Distinguished Inventor award, the NSF CAREER and DOE Early Career PI awards, and the ACM Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics "Test of Time Award". Dr. Luebke has co-authored a book, a SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater piece, a major museum exhibit visited by over 110,000 people, and dozens of papers, articles, chapters, and patents on computer graphics and GPU computing.