Virtual reality is rapidly becoming the next big thing, with Oculus and Sony both racing to produce powerful — and entertaining — head-mounted displays. Oculus is shipping the second iteration of its Oculus Rift headset this month, while Sony's Project Morpheus, unveiled this past spring, is still in development.
These technologies aren't the most entertaining for everyone, however, especially when nausea and fatigue flare up. Meanwhile, more widely-consumed hardware like Google Glass can't create virtual reality products because it only utilizes one eye and cannot produce 3D images.
Start-up Magic Leap is working to create virtual reality using digital light-field technology. The company uses light fields to encode more information about scenes to better help the brain read depth cues and light patterns, avoiding the neurological triggers that bring on motion sickness. With this, Magic Leap is hoping to create VR simulator headsets that can be worn for extended periods of time by projecting a "3D light sculpture" directly onto users' retinas.
According to biomedical engineer Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap, this technology is being developed with everyday use in mind.
"Our real market is people doing everyday things," said Abovitz said. "Rather than pulling your mobile phone in and out of your pocket, we want to create an all-day flow; whether you're going to the doctor or a meeting or hanging out, you will all of a sudden be amplified by the collective knowledge that is on the web."
More on Magic Leap's vision for virtual reality, which also appears to include technology that doesn't require glasses or goggles, is available at the company's webpage.