Creating correct focus cues (blur and accommodation) has become a critical issue in the development of the next generation of 3D displays, particularly head-mounted displays. Without correct focus cues, current 3D displays create undue visual discomfort and reduce visual performance. Current attempts to solve the focus cues problem are limited in their practical use. For example, volumetric displays are limited because the viewable scene is restricted to the size of the display volume. Multi-plane displays require very accurate alignment between the display and the viewer’s eyes. Light-field displays require demanding resolution requirements and computational workload.
Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a system and rendering method to present correct focus cues with a conventional display. Taking the optics of the human eye into account, the researchers create on the user’s retina the correct depth-dependent optical effects that are experienced in the real world. The researchers have shown that their method, which currently incorporates chromatic aberration but can incorporate other effects, is better able to drive accommodation and create realistic depth appearance than conventional methods. The new method thereby enables perceptual realism rather than conventional photorealism, and this increases the immersion and realism of the visual experience.