OSC Colloquium: Dr. Bernard Kress

    Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    1630 E. University Blvd.

    3rd Floor Lobby area


    Open to campus and public.


    Speaker: Dr. Bernard Kress 

    Topic: Optical challenges paving the road towards the ultimate Mixed Reality experience

    Host: Hong Hua

    Visit our website for future lecture dates and speaker information: http://www.optics.arizona.edu/news-events/events/colloquium For a list of our archived lectures: http://www.optics.arizona.edu/news-events/events/colloquium/archive


    Hardware architectures and technologies for AR and VR have made tremendous progress over the past 5 years, at a much faster pace than ever in history. This faster development pace was mainly fueled by recent investment hype in start-ups and accelerated mergers and acquisitions by larger corporations. The two main pillars defining most MR hardware challenges are comfort and immersion. Comfort comes in various declinations:

    • wearable comfort(reducing weight and size, pushing back the center of gravity, addressing thermal issues,…),
    • visual comfort(providing accurate and natural 3D cues over a large FOV and a high angular resolution)
    • social comfort(allowing for true eye contact, in a socially acceptable form factor,…).
    • Immersioncan be defined as a multisensory perception feature (starting with audio, then display, gestures, haptics,…).


    In order to address in an effective way both comfort and immersion challenges through improved hardware architectures and software developments, a deep understanding of the specific features and limitations of the human visual perception system is required. We emphasize the need for a human centric optical design process, which would allow for the most comfortable headset design (wearable, visual and social comfort) without compromising the user’s immersion experience (display, sensing, interaction). Matching the specifics of the display architecture to the human visual perception system is key to reducing the constrains on the hardware to acceptable levels allowing for an effective functional headset development and mass production at reasonable costs.

    We also review the major optical architectures, optical building blocks and related technologies that have been used in existing smart glasses, AR,VR and MR products or could be used in the near future in novel extended reality (XR) headsets to overcome such challenges. Providing the user with the visual and sensory experience addressing all aspects of comfort and immersion will eventually help to enable the market analysts’ wild expectations for the coming years in all headset declinations.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Bernard has made over the past two decades significant scientific contributions as an engineer, researcher, associate professor, instructor, and author.

    He has been instrumental in developing numerous optical sub-systems for consumer electronics and industrial products, generating IP, teaching and transferring technological solutions to industry. Application sectors include laser materials processing, optical anti-counterfeiting, biotech sensors, optical telecom devices, optical data storage, optical computing, optical motion sensors, digital image projection, displays, depth map sensors, and more recently head-up and head mounted displays (smart glasses, AR, VR and MR).

    His is specifically involved in the field of micro-optics, wafer scale optics, holography and nanophotonics.

    Bernard has published numerous books and book chapters on micro-optics and has more than 30 patents granted worldwide. He is a short course instructor for the SPIE and was involved in numerous SPIE conferences as technical committee member and conference co-chair.

    He is an SPIE fellow since 2013 as has been recently elected to the board of Directors of SPIE.

    Bernard has joined Google [X] Labs. in 2010 as the Principal Optical Architect on the Google Glass project, and is since 2015 the Partner Optical Architect at Microsoft Corp, on the HoloLens MR project.


    Refreshments 3:30pm

    Lecture @ 3:45pm - 5pm