Wearality’s Fresnel-based lenses, developed by Lockheed Martin, go a step further and show us a new version that expands the FOV to levels never seen before today.
After the first generation of Wearality with a viewing angle of 150º, currently on Kickstarter, a new version arrives that offers an FOV of 180º per eye, which gives us a combined angle of 210º. David Smith, the CTO of Wearality and former head of innovation at Lockheed Martin, states that “we are a lens company, and we want to supply them to the world’s leading manufacturers of viewfinders”. Will Mason from UploadVR has had the opportunity to try this new version, and his words fill us with enthusiasm:
Holding the lens in front of my eye, I watched a video of a forest running on David’s mobile. Since I only had one lens, I could see both the scene that completely encapsulated half of my vision, and David on the other side of the table in front of me. It was kind of mind-blowing to see something virtual with one eye and the real world with the other, especially since the virtual world appeared sharp and completely covered half of my vision. I asked David if they were planning to make a demo of these 180º lenses with two screens (because with such a high FOV, one screen is necessary for each eye) and he said that they were already working on it. No matter where I focused, the image looked clear, even if I forced my eyes to the right corner as much as I could. The forest scene looked clear except in the part of my physically limited vision (the outermost edges of our peripheral vision look blurry in the human eye).
As Will comments in the article, the human being has a viewing angle of about 160º in each eye, which provides about 200º combining both (although using the movement of our eyes, we can see about 270º horizontally). This means that the 110º shown on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive with their current lenses barely cover 55% of our viewing angle. Anyway, lens technology continues to advance by leaps and bounds thanks to David Smith and his team, now agreements with other manufacturers need to be reached and, above all, that the hardware power is up to par, since such a high viewing angle has a cost in performance. Without a doubt, we are going to live something very big during the next months and years.