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.

Mobile

From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Computing

Following the Portal, augmented reality glasses may be Facebook’s next step

Following the launch of its Portal smart display, Facebook says it is working on AR glasses, possibly in a move at challenging both Apple and Google and perhaps to rise up in the hardware scene. 
Computing

Oculus VR could upgrade the Rift with a new display in 2019

Oculus could be set to release a new version of its Rift headset in 2019, but it will be more of a modest upgrade than a true sequel. The Rift S, as its purportedly called, will have a new display, and inside-out tracking.
Mobile

Google awarded patent for using eye tracking to detect expressions in VR

Google was awarded a patent that involves using eye tracking to infer facial expressions using machine learning in virtual reality. The tech could help make virtual reality a whole lot more immersive than it already is.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Virtual Reality

Prototype Valve VR headset leaked: HTC Vive challenger confirmed?

Leaked images revealed that a Valve VR headset is in development, even amid Valve's partnership with HTC for the HTC Vive. Sources confirmed the device, which may be bundled with a Half-Life VR game.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Gaming

The best HTC Vive games available today

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.