One major barrier to Virtual Reality’s (VR) adoption relates to the vergence-accommodation conflict that’s plaguing VR since the beginning. In short, this neurological problem is part of what makes many users sick when they don a VR headset. Lemnis Technologies aims to fix that with its first software and hardware platform, Verifocal.
“The vergence-accommodation conflict prevents users from having a comfortable, prolonged VR experience”, said Lemnis Technologies Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. Pierre-Yves Laffont states. “We’ve developed a platform that works together with the human eye to create a natural response that we hope will help more people feel comfortable in virtual reality.”
By analyzing eye movements, the Verifocal determines where and how far the user is looking. Afterward, the system automatically adjusts the optics in the VR headset accordingly, resulting in a more natural and accurate eye-focusing experience. This significantly reduces VR discomfort, such as headaches, nausea, and eye strain, and enables “comfortable hand manipulation and close object inspection, making sophisticated training programs feasible for a range of industries. Designers and engineers can outline, create and inspect with precision. Even reading fine-print in VR is possible.”
Verifocal can benefit industries that would require VR for prolonged use, such as healthcare, engineering, and education, helping the VR market reach industries beyond gaming and entertainment.
Additionally, if you wear glasses like me, Lemnis Technologies’ headset takes that into account and adapts to each users’ prescription, providing a comfortable VR experience without glasses.
Facebook’s Reality Labs showcased its own work to solve the problem earlier this year with the Half Dome Varifocal VR Headset. The headset physically moves the displays to match the positioning of your eyeballs, achieving a similar experience to Lemnis Technologies’ Verifocal.
However, while Facebook’s Reality Labs doesn’t have an estimate as to when developers or journalists might be able to test the system, Lemnis Technologies launched Verifocal at Siggraph 2018. Also, attendees had the opportunity to demo the product and order an evaluation kit during the event.