DigiLens today announced a new capability for their waveguides which it’s calling a transparent resolution expander. Purportedly able to double the inherent resolution of any projector used in XR glasses, the system relies on quickly switching between two slightly offset images to increase effective resolution.
DigiLens, a leading creator of waveguide technology, today announced its transparent resolution expander (T-REx for short), which it claims can effectively double the resolution of any projector used in XR glasses.
T-REx makes use of the ‘wobulation’ technique, which essentially overlays two frames with a slight offset such that the pixels of one frame ‘fill in’ the spaces between the pixels in the next frame. If you do this fast enough the eye can’t tell that there’s actually two different frames though it can discern the additional detail.
To make this happen, the T-REx tech involves a ‘switchable’ waveguide. DigiLens hasn’t gone into detail about exactly how it works, but our understanding is that applying an electrical current to the waveguide can slightly adjust the position of the light coming out of the waveguide, which makes wobulation possible.
Facebook Researchers have demonstrated similar work involving mechanically moving displays for reducing the screen-door effect of VR headset.
DigiLens claims its T-REx approach can double the resolution of any given projector used in XR glasses.
For example, if a pair of XR glasses uses a projector with a 500 × 500 resolution, it could take an input frame of 1,000 × 1,000, split the frame into two sub frames—each containing half of the information from the original—and then display both frames back to back rapidly with a slight offset so the eye can merge them together into a single image with greater detail than would otherwise be possible from the 500 × 500 resolution projector.
“This is a real technological breakthrough as very rarely do you improve on pixel experience without any sort of trade off,” said Chris Pickett, CEO of DigiLens. “It also expands the possibilities of our waveguides for a range of customers and use cases, who can benefit from a system they can upgrade and mold to their unique needs rather than a one size fits all approach where you have to wait for a whole new generation of products to benefit from updated specs.”
DigiLens says its switchable waveguide can switch image positions as fast as 50µs, allowing it to “easily support full color RGB wobulation at 60Hz and even 90Hz.” We’re not entirely sure if they mean to say that wobulated content would be running at 60Hz or 90Hz, or if the content’s effective frame rate would be half of those figures. We’ve reached out to the company for clarity.
The company also says that T-REx switching is compatible with “all established projector types,” including LCoS, micro-LED, DLP, OLED, LBS, and more. Furthermore, it claims that the system “does not produce any heat, sound or vibration and can run non-stop and indefinitely,” saying that similar approaches create buzzing and additional heat.
DigiLens doesn’t actually manufacture waveguides themselves, but licenses the technology and manufacturing process to companies that want to make their own. It says that T-REx is now available to licensees as an add-on, or through it’s modular reference headset.