Almalence digital lens boosts visual performance of Vive Pro Eye

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A new Unity plugin from Almalence for the Vive Pro Eye brings a “higher picture quality experience” to HTC Vive’s signature HMD for enterprise.

Quick read

➨ Almalence has developed a digital lens plugin and made it freely available to developers

➨ The plugin uses eye-tracking data and a measured profile of lens aberrations

➨ ‘The digital lens literally makes the Vive Pro Eye’s high resolution visible’

The story

Imaging solutions company Almalence has developed a digital lens plugin, which is freely available to virtual reality (VR) developers, that overcomes the limits of HMD optical performance. 

The plugin uses eye-tracking data and a measured profile of lens aberrations to increase the visible resolution and remove chromatic aberrations across the entire field of view, at any gaze direction.

“It does a job of a corrective optical element while adding no extra size or weight to the HMD device,” according to Almalence.

The company explained in a release: “It is commonly accepted that picture quality and visual fidelity are crucial factors for a truly immersive VR experience and for VR adoption in general. Few realise though that simply increasing the display pixel count is not enough, because not only does it matter what the display shows but what the user can see, and the quality of the visible picture is actually limited by the fundamental constraints affecting the optical performance of HMD lenses, namely a moving lens element (eye pupil) and overall size constraint, limiting the complexity of the optical system.”

“Limited HMD optical performance is the main reason why the substantial increase of display resolution in HTC Vive Pro over the original Vive did not bring much of a visible improvement. Implemented as a software plugin for Vive Pro Eye, the digital lens literally makes the Vive Pro’s high resolution visible.”

Eugene Panich, chief executive officer of Almalence, said: “It is common now to compare VR head mounted displays to the computer displays of the 70s or 80s. [Our digital lens] removes a fundamental roadblock on the way for VR HMDs to achieve the visual clarity matching XXI century standards.”

“We are excited to make this technology directly available to app developers, allowing to provide higher picture quality experience to their users immediately without waiting for the technology to be adopted by the HMD OEMs, and to gain additional value from investment in eye tracking hardware.”

The Vive Pro Eye went on sale in North America over the summer.

Featuring the latest in eye-tracking technology, companies from multiple industries are already using Vive Pro Eye for training and simulation, consumer feedback and analytics, and gaze-oriented navigation.

Image credit: Almalence