Improved stereoscopic performance with consistent vergence and accommodative cues in a novel 3d display

Ahna Girshick, University of California, Berkeley

Photo of Ahna Girshick

When a disparity-defined stimulus is presented on a conventional display the vergence-specified distance is generally inconsistent with the focal distance. This vergence-accommodation mismatch can cause discomfort and fatigue as well as distortions in 3d percepts. We have developed a novel device to display images at three focal distances in order to minimize vergence-accommodation mismatches. Each eye’s view is the sum of images presented at three focal planes. To simulate object positions between the planes, image intensities are weighted by inverse distance from the planes. We assessed experimentally the utility of the device relative to conventional displays. Observers viewed random-dot stereograms of sinusoidal corrugations. First observers fixated a cues-consistent target. Next the stereogram appeared at a new distance which sometimes was cues-consistent (vergence and accommodation matched) and sometimes was cues-inconsistent (vergence and accommodation different). We found that observers were able to determine corrugation orientation in less time and at higher spatial frequency in cues-consistent than in cues-inconsistent conditions. Thus, making the vergence and accommodation stimuli compatible yields an increase in both speed and spatial precision. We conclude that, compared to conventional displays, significant improvements in stereoscopic performance can be achieved using our three-plane display device.

Abstract Author(s): A R Girshick, K Akeley*, S J Watt**, M S Banks