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  1. I have been following your blog for a while and really love it. I am very curious. Why are there no VR headsets that use retinal projection? Why only AR? This seems to be a much more superior way of virtual reality than having a screen right in front of people’s faces.

    • By “retinal projection,” I’m assuming you meant laser beam scanning (LBS) as all near-eye displays are in effect projecting on the retina, but LBS developers more often call it retinal projection.

      Fundamentally is much cheaper, easier, and with much better image quality to make a VR headset with a flat panel LCD or OLED than with LBS. LBS has fundamental problems in supporting high-resolution at high-refresh-rates due to the issues with electro-mechanically scanning a mirror.

      As I have often written, LBS is one of those concepts that works out better in theory than in practice.

  2. Hello Karl,

    Is it possible to use a LCOS Micro Display with a transmissive spatial light modulator to increase FOV enough to be viable for VR applications?

    • The question is a bit confusing. Convention LCOS is built on silicon which is not transmissive. You make a transmissive display with it by using an optical “combiner” such as a partial mirror (flat or curve) or with waveguides.

      The issue of FOV is one of the size of the display and how close you can get it to the eye. “Magnification” is a bit of a misnomer. Quoting Wikipedia (

      “By convention, for magnifying glasses and optical microscopes, where the size of the object is a linear dimension and the apparent size is an angle, the magnification is the ratio between the apparent (angular) size as seen in the eyepiece and the angular size of the object when placed at the conventional closest distance of distinct vision: 25 cm from the eye.”

      What happens with “simple” near-eye optics is that most of the “magnfication” (apparent increase in the size of the image) comes from moving the display closer to the eye. The optics main job is not so much to make the display look larger but to move the focus of the image so a human can focus the image at close distance. Thus if you move a cell phone size displays near the eye you see a huge image with a wide FOV. The problem with an LCOS display is that silicon is relatively expensive (compared to LCD/OLED flat panels on glass/plastic) and it becomes prohibitively expensive to make physically large displays. Thus you either need to move the display and combiner prohibitively close to the eye or you have to use very large and complex optics to enlarge the image of the LCOS device.

  3. Hello Karl,

    what are you thinking of the Norm Glasses? Seems that their system won some awards. They have a relativ saml FOV of 20° in the diagonal. So differn use cases than Hololens or Magic Leap. But the glasses loock like everyday glasses and ar very light with <36g. On the kick starter side there is a video filmed through their lens against the bright sky and ebven then you can see it.

  4. Hi Karl, I enjoyed your last video about RealWear. One comment to share is that RealWear is still a privately held company based in Vancouver, WA. ( It isn’t owned by a Chinese company). I just wanted to keep the record straight.

    • First, I’m very sorry for the error. I must have misunderstood the RealWear and RealMax relationship and the related financial investment. Regardless, I have added a note of correction in the video and related blog articles.

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