Patent published on August 22, 2023

New Patent Could Make Universal City Studios' Virtual Glasses More Eye-Friendly

Eyes are a remarkable part of our body, the small muscles that maneuver the lens in our eyes constantly adapt to different distances, allowing us to focus on an object no matter how far or near it is. But this dexterity of eyes is not replicated in the virtual world, often leading to a blurred or double-image effect that damps users' experience. Furthermore, this might prompt headaches, tiredness, and even nausea, making the engaging world of Virtual Reality (VR) a discomforting place for many.

Patent number US11736674B2, granted to Universal City Studios, aims to fix this predicament. Existing VR or Augmented Reality (AR) headsets, like special computer glasses, sustain the same distance from the focal point of virtual objects to the display edges, whether the objects seem closer or farther to the user. This limitation means the point at which your eyes come together, technically known as 'convergence,' may not align with where the virtual object appears to be—giving rise to a phenomenon called 'vergence-accommodation conflict.'

Universal City Studios has come up with a novel solution, an AR headset that dynamically adjusts this 'vergence' according to the virtual objects' perceived depth. It ingeniously calculates this based on two factors: the distance between your eyes and how your eyes reposition when focusing at various distances. This adjustment alleviates the strain on users' eyes, making the interaction with the virtual world more enjoyable and less tire-some.

Imagine a world where you don't need to give your eyes a break while indulging in your favorite VR gaming session. Or viewing complex architectural models in an AR setting for an extended period would no longer cause discomfort. This concept brings virtual reality one step closer to the real world, bringing relief to millions of VR users, game enthusiasts, simulation operators, and AR model builders who regularly bear the burdens of the current technology's limitations.

However, it's necessary to mention that all these possibilities are based on a granted patent, US11736674B2, hinting at the potential future of AR and VR headsets. Whether this development will see the daylight in the form of marketable products hinges on several factors, including real-world testing and feasibility studies, cost constraints, and commercial demand. So, while we watch this space for the official unveiling of such product, the world of virtual reality holds its breath, waiting for eyes-friendly, immersive experiences in the near future.

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