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Real-Life Illness in a Virtual World -

Real Life Illness in a Virtual World NYTimes com


Magic Leap and other researchers in the field say that digital light fields will circumvent visual and neurological problems by providing viewers with depth cues similar to the ones generated by natural objects. That will make it possible to wear augmented-reality viewers for extended periods without discomfort, they say.

Light-field technology is already being used in a new generation of digital cameras that offer the ability to change the point of focus after a picture has been taken. Researchers at Nvidia demonstrated a head- mounted light-field system last year, and scientists at the M.I.T. Media Lab have shown an “autostereoscopic,” or glasses-free, 3-D display based on what they described as a “compressed light field.”

So far, however, one of the principal obstacles facing light-field cameras and displays is that they require as many as five or six times as many pixels to create the resolution equivalent to a conventional digital image.

Magic Leap claims to have solved the resolution challenge with a proprietary technology that projects an image, which it describes as a “3-D light sculpture,” onto the viewer’s retina. Rony Abovitz, a biomedical engineer who founded Mako Surgical, a successful robotic surgery company, before creating Magic Leap in 2010, said that his system would even offer a resolution close to the power of the human eye.

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