Microsoft Research show off new compact Augmented Reality headset with 80 degree field of view

Microsoft Research has shown off a new Holographic augmented reality headset technology which promises a compact headset with high-resolution and a wide 80-degree field of view, addressing much of the deficits of the HoloLens.

The headset features true, phase-only holograms in which the image is formed by the interference of laser light.  Despite using true phase-only holograms, using optimisations such as eye tracking it is possible to create the holograms in real-time using a desktop GPU (a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 TI) at a high 90 to 260 Hz refresh rate.

The display uses a thin and highly transparent holographic optical element as a combiner, cut in the shape of an eyeglass lens, allowing an optical see-through capability. Even with these miniaturised optics, the display can resolve pixel-scale details over the whole field of view.

The technology also allows the holograms to be correct for issues inherent in using a thin lens, allowing the headset to use simpler and cheaper optics and allowing a sunglass-like form factor.

Of course, the PC driving the display is still external, but the technology is still extremely promising for the next generation of all day Mixed Reality Glasses, which is rumoured to be arriving some time in 2019.

Read more about the new technology at Microsoft Research here.