Wearable Vision Systems Reveal More Than a ‘Highway in the Sky’

Concept picture of a lightweight sunglasses form factor HWD for commercial aviation use. Fig. 5: doi:10.1117/1.OE.56.5.051405

Significant commercial investment in wearable vision systems for personal communications and entertainment is driving rapid advances in miniature optoelectronics components and product design.

Wearable visualization systems (WVS) are at the forefront of consumer electronics product development, and social media companies are investing heavily in enabling compelling experiences through augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).

A special section on Wearable Vision Systems: Head/Helmet-Mounted Displays in this month’s issue of Optical Engineering, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, aims to help boost consumer-driven advances in applications in automotive, industrial, and military vision systems.

“Significant commercial investment in WVS for personal communications and entertainment is driving rapid advances in miniature optoelectronics components and product design,” note special section guest editors Darrel Hopper (U.S. Air Force Research Lab), James Melzer (Thales Visionix, Inc.), Michael Browne (SA Photonics), and Peter Marasco (U.S. Air Force Research Lab).

Their goal with the special section is to facilitate consumer-driven advancements in the design of specialty applications including automotive, industrial, and military vision systems.

The editorial lists key challenges, including achieving performance in a near-to-eye (NTE) visualization system sufficient to compel users to tolerate shortcomings including latency, acuity, field-of-view, fashion, and donning and doffing.

VR immerses viewers in an artificial environment richly characterized by…

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