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Avegant enables multiple focal plane AR with its Light Field technology

Augmented reality hardware is still in its infancy, and so we’re seeing big improvements all the time — and Avegant’s Light Field could be one of those. The new hardware and software platform is capable of displaying mixed reality at various focal points, letting you view augmented reality up close, or at a distance, but always in crisp detail.

Unlike virtual reality, which can suck in users with a unified virtual world around them, augmented reality devices need to look real in the context of the real world. That’s not necessarily easier or harder to achieve, but it’s a different set of problems. Perhaps that’s why when we first tried the Microsoft Hololens augmented reality headset a couple of years ago, we still felt it needed some work.

Avegant does things in a similar fashion to Microsoft’s more well-known headset, but is able to visualize different objects at multiple “focal planes,” which is what makes the visuals through the headset so crisp. It’s that clarity that the developers believe could give its technology the advantage when it comes to impressing consumers with mixed reality.

“Mixed reality will change the way we teach, learn, work, and play,” said Joerg Tewes, CEO of Avegant. “Avegant created the first complete mixed reality solution for hardware and software developers to create sharp, brilliant virtual objects within arm’s reach.”

The Light Field technology was developed following the experience Avegant gained in developing its personal theater headset, Glyph. It brings that same desire for crisp, close-to-the-eye visuals to Light Field, along with its simple software integration. Light Field is compatible with common engines like Unity and is designed to be used across a range of major hardware platforms.

Avegant now plans to market its Light Field technology for business and consumer-facing devices, though it’s not clear if it will be looking to build its own hardware, or focus entirely on working with third-party manufacturers.

Updated by Jon Martindale 03-20-2017 – Fixed typo in header.

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