October 27, 2017
Make your virtual reality device a reality, faster
Modern virtual prototyping tools cuts development time for engineers designing optical and optomechanical systems
Virtual reality (VR) technology is reaching far beyond videogames, with applications emerging in such diverse fields as education, medicine, automotive, and meteorology. VR headsets hold the promise of driving significant revenues for industry players. By 2021, they’re predicted to reach 99.4 million units, up almost 10-fold from 10.1 million units shipped in 2016 (International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker).
Companies are racing neck and neck to build applications that can take advantage of this interactive, 3D virtual environment, putting pressure on development teams to get to market in record time. Lower price points are further stiffening competition, as VR technology becomes more accessible.
Making headsets that mimic our eyes
Whether simulating the real world or creating a fantasy world, VR headsets include a special type of lens that bends light in the same way that our eyes do. These lenses, called Fresnel, manipulate incoming light so that the receptors in the back of our eyes can focus on it. They also solve the challenge of the headset sitting very close to the eyes by working in a similar way to prescription eyeglasses that correct astigmatism and other common vision problems.
Fresnel lenses break a normal lens into a set of concentric annular sections, known as Fresnel zones. These lenses are lighter and occupy a smaller volume than an equivalent spherical lens. Most practical Fresnel lenses can be modeled using the Fresnel_1 object, which provides great control of optical properties and manufacturing parameters such as pitch angle (the angle the inactive lens face makes to the lens body). But complex imaging applications in some VR headsets require modeling more complex Fresnel objects.
High-confidence optical design developed faster
To get to a high-confidence optical design more quickly, many companies use OpticStudio and LensMechanix together, streamlining the workflow and information exchange between optical and mechanical engineers. With its comprehensive suite of optical, laser, and illumination design features, OpticStudio provides unparalleled value for optical engineers and researchers. LensMechanix gives mechanical engineers the tools to package optics, eliminating the guesswork and frustration of working with STEP files.
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