The goal is to ensure that bright sources of light, such as direct sunlight, do not cause virtual objects to be completely transparent.
Microsoft he has registered a patent (published last week) for a system capable of controlling the sharpness with which we see virtual objects in augmented reality on the real world, regardless of whether we are indoors in low light or outdoors exposed to direct sunlight. To achieve this feature, the described method controls the amount of ambient light that is transmitted to a user’s eye through a viewfinder, which can have a passive component such as a photochromic coating that blocks light, and another active one that dynamically varies the light attenuation of the previous component, they explai
The photochromic layer can respond to ultraviolet light, such as sunlight, to darken and limit the amount entering. On the other hand, the active component can be composed of two layers of liquid crystal that are placed behind the photochromic layer and that are able to vary the opacity at the pixel level by changing the voltage of each of the pixels, allowing to apply dark masks on the objects and semi-dark for their shadows, or directly on the bright light sources that we are focusing. The method also represents an energy saving compared to methods that choose to increase brightness.
As with patents, nothing assures us that Microsoft will use this technology for its next version of HoloLens, but doing so would allow us to achieve more realistic virtual objects by not changing their transparency based on the ambient light.