Why can't vr headsets adjust for nearsighted?

Eliza Upton asked a question: Why can't vr headsets adjust for nearsighted?
Asked By: Eliza Upton
Date created: Wed, May 26, 2021 10:15 AM
Date updated: Tue, Jan 11, 2022 4:13 AM



Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Why can't vr headsets adjust for nearsighted?» often ask the following questions:

🔬 Do vr headsets work with nearsighted?

Why can't a nearsighted person use a VR headset without glasses? Shouldn't everything still be clear since it's just a screen close to the eyes? We can. If your vision is good at six feet, a VR headset’s screen will be clear without glasses. If not, you need to get inexpensive prescription inserts.

🔬 Do vr headsets adjust for vision?

(Credit: Samsung Newsroom/Flickr) Engineers are developing virtual reality headsets that can adapt how they display images to account for factors like eyesight and age that affect how we actually...

🔬 Why can't vr headsets adjust for nearsightedness?

Current VR headsets can’t account for differences in vision, which can cause headaches and nausea. “Every person needs a different optical mode to get the best possible experience in VR.”

10 other answers

You might also be thinking of “Near point” which is something that affects both farsighted and nearsighted people; as you get older, your eyeballs can’t deflect as much and you can’t focus on things really close. VR lenses are setup so that things do NOT appear “really close” so I don’t expect it’s an issue.

Basically, everything, no matter how near or far away, will seem optically to be the same depth; about 5 feet, in front of you. You might think you could apply a blur effect to the screen to simulate vergence, but it doesn’t work that way. It’s an optical effect, like focusing a camera or binoculars.

The focal distance for VR is further than the physical distance. On the Vive, I believe it was about 30 inches (a bit less than an arm length). Not sure if we know the focal distance of the Index yet. Many nearsighted people do just fine in VR without glasses, as long as they have good vision at that focal distance.

The problem that the researchers set out to solve is that the display screens on VR headsets don’t let our eyes focus naturally. In real life, once our eyes focus on a point everything else blurs...

Dynamic focus for moving objects in VR. When an object moves in depth – closer to or farther from us – our eyes naturally adjust to focus on the object. With VR headsets, the focus plane is a set distance from our eyes. The difference between the object’s distance, near or far, and the set focal plane can cause eye strain.

The focal length of the lenses determines how clearly you can see in VR, not the physical distance to the screen. Everything in VR is as clear or blurry to you as it would be at about 2m or so in the real world so if you can see clearly at about 2m or so then you won't need glasses in VR.

The condition is called presbyopia and the solution is to prescribe differing strengths for each contact lens. My left eye is set up for distance and the right for close up, with the sharpest focus at about 1 foot. The brain combines the two views and after awhile you don't notice. It works fine in real life but not so well in VR.

April 2016 edited April 2016. Take off the facepiece, and go to a mirror. Put on your glasses, and see if you can get a "comfortable" fit. I tried this and found that I have to bend the facepiece to get my glasses through. I tried an older, smaller pair, and it still was pretty bad.

The problem with glasses is the added weight of the headset will eventually cause you discomfort. For me, my glasses on the Oculus Rift over time would slowly cause the pads of my glasses to push into my nose and eventually hurt. Taking the headset off and glasses would show two red imprints where my glasses were.

VR headsets can be calibrated to account for refractive errors (the necessity for glasses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or both), but a user who has such problems with their eyesight and uses a VR headset will likely still suffer from eye strain if they use the headset too much. Eye strain can be uncomfortable and even painful if exacerbated.

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