Expanding Horizons: Almalence Digital Lens enables Wide Field of View in VR

Demonstrated with Pimax Crystal Wide FoV lenses, see how Almalence dynamic optical aberrations correction delivers a wider field of view without sacrificing image clarity.

The Challenge: Compromised Optical Designs

Achieving a wide field of view (FoV) is essential for an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience but presents significant optical design challenges. VR head-mounted displays must contend with size constraints and the variability of human eye positioning. Enhancing FoV results in compromises to other vital optical properties, notably a reduction in MTF or sharpness, and a noticeable increase in chromatic aberrations, which cause color fringing.

Recently released Wide FoV lenses by Pimax for its Crystal headset exemplify these compromises. While these lenses broaden the user's field of view, they unfortunately degrade image quality, resulting in blurriness and significant chromatic aberrations, leaving users overall dissatisfied.

The Solution: Computational Aberrations Correction

Almalence introduces the Digital Lens, an innovative purely computational software solution for dynamic aberration correction that transcends existing hardware limitations. This solution operates without the need for additional optical elements, thereby not increasing the size or weight of the VR headset.

Demonstration: A Clear Difference

Observe the stark improvements in the side-by-side image comparisons below. These examples showcase the visual quality of the Pimax Crystal using Wide FoV lenses with and without Almalence's Digital Lens technology. The images below are close-up crops of the gaze area.

crystalfov-crop1-asis.jpg,crystalfov-crop1-dlvr.jpg crystalfov-crop2-asis.jpg,crystalfov-crop2-dlvr.jpg crystalfov-crop3-asis.jpg,crystalfov-crop3-dlvr.jpg

Looking Forward: Addressing Remaining Challenges

While the Digital Lens significantly improves image quality for the Crystal with Wide FoV lenses, there’s still a remaining issue—blue "ghosting," observable in the last example above. This artifact also appears with the Crystal's standard lenses and likely stems from built-in aberration and color corrections in the headset, not directly from the optics. We anticipate that fully integrating DLVR into Pimax's rendering pipeline and adjusting the color correction accordingly will resolve this issue.

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