Brelyon, a Media Lab spinoff company co-founded by former Labber Dr. Barmak Heshmat and Dr. Alok Mehta, was named the recipient of Optica's 2023 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award. This award celebrates the company's advances in computational wavefront engineering, which were used in the introduction of "the world's first headset-free virtual monitor using computational optics to program the wavefront of the light in large scale."
"Cameras and displays are usually known to be the dual or inverse of each other, but while we have had focus control in cameras almost since the beginning of photography, controlling the focal cues and depth in displays has been very difficult," says Professor Ramesh Raskar, head of the Media Lab's Camera Culture research group and Founding Advisor of Brelyon. "This is because displays have very large apertures and integrating large refractive optics is not practical. Additionally the computer has to learn and predict what segment of light should be shown at what angle and depth. Brelyon has been able to address this problem using a different interpolation approach to control depth in these scales."
Frank Azor, Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions at AMD, notes, "At AMD our goal is to enable best-in-class gaming experiences, and that requires pushing the boundaries of computer graphics together with display technologies. Brelyon's high-bandwidth virtual display is one such technology where you can start to see the benefits of coupling high-end graphics cards with light-field engineering."
Former Labber Gordon Wetzstein, Professor of Electrical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Computer Science at Stanford University, adds, "The human visual system critically relies on focus cues for accurate depth perception. While many emerging display technologies have been targeted to solve the lack of support of these perceptually important cues, none have solved this problem. Among the many benefits of having a display with focus cue support are the ability to dial in your prescription in software, to create more realistic experiences, and also to create more visually comfortable experiences. I am excited to see Breylon take on this important challenge with a new and promising technical approach."
The Brelyon team also includes former Labbers Alireza Aghasi, now a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University, Dr. A. R. Sanchez, and Dr. Christopher Barsi.
The Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award, established in 1989, recognizes technical achievements and contributions to society in the of field optical engineering. This award is sponsored by Optica (formerly OSA), which is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, and others interested in the science of light.