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Top 6 research areas in XR display industry? XR (VR / AR / MR - research top problems).

Updated: Mar 4

research in XR display

What are some interesting deep tech research problems in the near eye display industry in the XR (VR/AR) context mostly in head mounted display systems? In this post we give idea about some top areas of research in the display industry in XR (AR / VR / MR). Desktop based displays in XR field also derive their progress based on similar principles, hence, these research questions can be considered representing the entire display market. Keep in mind the entire optics industry works on a fundamental principle "How to change the behavior of light traversal using various materials in the path of light traversal". Variations of the parameters results in all various optical products we see around such as lenses, cameras, microscopes, telescopes, displays, solar sells, and many more.

1. How to make fundamental unit of light emissions (LEDs) perform better in terms of longevity / brightness / size reduction / manufacturing processes? This gives rise to the types of LEDs such as microOLEDs / microLEDs / materials used in these LEDs for performance improvement.

2. How to distribute light generation by individual LEDs such as RGB, so the light is not lost in random directions but travels with minimal losses in one direction the way it happens in lasers. Special nano / micro lenses that are laid over individual LEDs can help LED light focus or special material chips that actually use lasers as input source but split out micro beams mimicking individual micro / nano LEDs instead, are some of the methods under work here.

3. How to pack as many tiny LEDs on silicon wafers as possible to offer higher and higher resolution for near eye displays and do it without complex manufacturing processes for costs. Apple vision pro two displays each 4k from Sony themselves costs $600.

4. How to create materials that allow combinations of projected media from mostly the likes of tiny projectors that sit next to eyes, to merge projected virtual content with real world through lenses. Diffraction waveguides and similar materials research falls in this category. How to create bigger field of view materials for projection of media and make manufacturing affordable with novel techniques. Photo lithography type tech is as well used here.

5. How to minimize thickness of lenses that allow seeing images from VR headset displays for each eye, to create stereoscopic effect. The pancake lenses are latest here replacing the earlier thicker fresnel lenses. Thinner the lens, thinner /lighter is VR headset going to be. Quest 3 uses pancake lenses.

6. How to get rid of lack of depth of field in all VR head mounted displays? also called vergence accommodation conflict. VR headsets cant show variation on focus as our eyes naturally can do, when seeing near / far objects. This results due to displays where images are shown at single focal length. Creal from Switzerland is promising variable depth of field with its lightfield display architecture for the first time. But this stays an active problem.

Each of these points have a range of research problems associated with it to create a range of thesis type materials for PhDs and industries with deep pockets have an army of scientists from photonics background trying to make breakthroughs to be able to launch new improvements in optics to either launch new unique products/ act as OEMs to supply improved components to manufacturers of the display systems with deep pockets.

Hundreds of millions / billions $ are pushed to break the physics/ materials science research to create new breakthroughs.

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