Prof. Byoungho Lee, VR headset becomes as thin as sunglasses (Chosun Ilbo, 2021.03.26.)

2021-04-29l Hit 1404

VR with significantly reduced volume./SNU

SNU ECE Professor Byoungho Lee’s research team announced on the 26th, “A novel VR display technology with which the volume of conventional VR devices can be significantly reduced has been developed.” The results of this research will be announced on the 29th at the IEEE VR, a globally acknowledged conference in virtual reality, and was revealed on the 25th on the international journal ‘IEEE TVCG’.


◇Volume of internal space in VR device significantly reduced


The reason conventional VR display devices take up space is because of their internal space. In order to reduce the thickness of this volume, it is necessary to reduce the focal length of the VR lens. However, to secure the minimum distance between the eye and the lens, a lens with too short a focal length cannot be used.


The team significantly reduced the necessary space inside a VR device. The VR device they implemented is of a structure where a ‘2D lens array’ is inserted in addition to the usual lens. A 2D lens array is an optical device where small lenses are arranged in parallel. With this structure, it is possible to reduce the effective focal length while maintaining the minimum distance between the eye and the lens. The required space was reduced to half.

A comparison between conventional VR and VR developed by SNU./ SNU


The research team adopted a folding technique where the path of light is folded so that the light travels back and forth in the space. With this approach, it was possible to obtain the same effect as securing a sufficient optical path with only a short physical distance, reducing the required space to one third additionally. Accordingly, the total volume is reduced to less than one sixth. As a result, the research team was able to create a VR device with only a 3.3mm thick space theoretically.




◇Wide viewing angle as well as being thin


The VR developed by the team was not only thin, but demonstrated excellent glasses-type VR display performance, having a wide viewing angle of 102 degrees horizontally and 102 degrees vertically, a 8.8mm wide area for the center of the pupil, and a minimum distance between eye and lens of 20mm. This spectacle-type is merely 8.8mm thick, including the thickness of all necessary elements such as the internal space, LCD panel, and Fresnel lens.


Professor Lee said, “This is innovative technology that will open a new chapter for VR devices. We have applied for an international patent, and if there is a company that will manufacture products, commercialization can be achieved within a year or two.”



Translated by: Jee Hyun Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,