Perception, Display, and Fabrication

Leader of the group: Dr. Piotr Didyk

Group's website


Vision and Research Strategy

There has been a tremendous increase in quality and number of new output devices, such as stereo and automultiscopic screens, portable and wearable displays, and 3D printers. Some of them have already entered mass production and gained a lot of users’ attention; others will follow this trend promptly. Unfortunately, abilities of these emerging technologies limit their abilities in reproducing digital content accurately. Also, the current level of understanding of how these new technologies influence user experience is insufficient to exploit their advantages fully. In our work, we concentrate on developing efficient and robust methods for producing input for these new devices. We take special care that the content is reproduced not in a perfect numerical sense, but that we maximize the perceived quality at the minimal computation cost. To this end, we explore and learn how the human sensory system works and build efficient computational models that can mimic its response. We later use the models to formulate perceptual optimizations which produce content that provides optimal perceived quality for the human observer. The studies on human perception give us also insights regarding new hardware designs that take the observer into account.


Research Areas and Achievements

Perceptual Display

Limited display qualities are insufficient to faithfully reproduce real world experience. Newly emerging displays devices, such as 3D screens and head-mounted displays, allow us to reproduce more visual cues, but on the other hand, they pose many questions and problems both on the computational and quality side. For example, they come with their limitations, such as significant latency, which lead to a poor user experience despite added new qualities. The question we address in our work is: given a device and certain computational resources, how can we exploit the capabilities of the particle output device in the best way? In our current research, we leverage our previous experience in stereoscopic imaging as well as new eye-tracking technology which gives us a lot of insights regarding user performance and the quality that has to be presented. This allows us to personalize the content for a particular observer as well as design techniques for generating and manipulating content for new display devices. Our research is also concerned with methods for manipulating content for movie productions where higher reproduction quality of real-world does not always translate to a better viewing experience.


Perceptual Fabrication

In the context of fabrication (e. g., 3D printing), despite the high quality of multi-material printers, reproducing 3D hard copies of real objects is still a challenging task. Our efforts are concentrated on two problems. First, how to leverage the new fabrication technology to produce objects which provide desired haptic sensation. To this end, we study human haptic perception and design new computational fabrication techniques which account for the user interaction. We also investigate the perception of interaction with virtual objects. Currently, we study the problem in the context of digital drawing, but we would like to extend it to more general virtual and augmented reality scenarios. The second problem that we address is appearance fabrication. We develop new 3D printing techniques for color printing which overcome problems of commonly used halftoning.


Novel Display Designs

The work on perceptual display inspires us to go back, and re-think designs of current display technologies from the perception point of view. This allows as to provide designs that are better tailored to the users’ needs. More precisely, we work on new light-efficient screens. We also proposed a new large-format glass-free 3D screen which overcomes many limitations of current 3D display designs. We also work on a new near-eye wide-field-of-view augmented reality display which supports accommodation cues.