T^2 TyMist [gd0138]

I need some virtual desktop monitors that offer 90+PPD at 90+Hz.

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I had high hopes for the yet-to-be-released Pimax TWELVE K, but apparently, a PPD of 35 means that I can't use it as a monitor replacement. All the recent AR glasses (wearable HUDs) have a PPD of 49 - 55, but that's still kind of low and 1080p isn't enough pixels for me to be the most productive, especially considering they're landscape only.

My current proposed solution is to use quad 2.9" square 1440px displays and optics for virtual 2880x2160 (4:3) landscape or portrait monitors, and smart glass film around my vision that changes from transparent to a "windows 11 mica material" level of mist, electronically.

Tech... squares... transparency and mist...
TechnologySquared TransparencyMist.

I also want purified air and simulated surround sound.

[09 Nov 22]

From trying different screens, I can say that:

  • 70ppd looks pixelated and annoying. Must avoid.
  • 80ppd is on the edge of looking pixelated. I'd like to avoid because I'm always going to be squinting, thinking "can I see pixels?".
  • 90ppd is a nice balance of sharpness and Windows GUI at 100% scaling. 

So it seems that 100ppd would either be ultrasharp or just indistinguishable from 90 if I extrapolated it, and that increments of 10ppd make a very noticable difference until getting to my eye's resolution, so I'd rather not imagine what Nreal Air and its 50ppd looks like.

[02 Nov 22]

I will admit that a notable reason why I'm starting this project is because of some issues with #Teti [gd0022] and its 3 screens. I've had them since Dec 2020, so I know of the challenges and limitations, which are:

  • There's only 3 screens. I can store extras away when I don't need them, but if I'm really in the zone, programming something mystical like #enSweepen [gd0096], I might want 4 or 5. The only solution would be to move closer to the screen and reduce the scaling percentages of them all to fit more content.
  • They weight 800 grams each. That's 2.4kg of screens to be carried inside #TetInventory [gd0039], and somehow needs to be held in place by a hinge on Teti.
  • 9:16 is a very tall aspect ratio for portrait mode viewing.
  • I don't like screen light coming in via my peripheral vision. It's a leading reason why I've gone with a stacked monitor setup for Teti.
  • They have different white balances. I didn't expect this because they look fine by themselves, but when I turn on all 3, I can see that one is slightly bluer than another.
  • They're small. 15.6" is a decent size, but I've longed for a 17.3" or larger screen.
  • They're large. I know what I just said a bullet point ago, but there's still a lot of glass surface area that might be impacted or scratched one day. It's also pretty tough to hold one handed since glass doesn't have a suitable level of grip.
  • They're a bit of a "black box". If they break (I've already got a stuck green pixel on one), I wouldn't really know if I could get parts to fix it or have the skill to not break something else while doing so. The firmware on them also has this annoying blue "no signal" screen that has annoyed me for the 22 months I've had the displays.
  • They're 60Hz. I'm glad I went resolution over fps back in 2020, but I'd very much prefer higher Hz.
  • There's no privacy. I can only imagine how curiosity inducing I'd look whilst sitting somewhere with a complete 3 monitor PC setup. Additionally, IPS panels have great viewing angles, so pretty much any 170 degree angle behind me is visible.
  • Speaking about visibilty, they're glossy, meaning that anything behind me that's not dark coloured is going to reflect off the screen.
  • I need something to place the screens onto, which limits the comfortable viewing positions possible.
  • Tetent might not be ergonomically compatible with the dual screen laptop configuration idea.

TyMist can solve all these problems (and others, such as other things like protecting my eyes from bright light sources), and currently, it seems less complex than I originally estimated to obtain a solution.

  • I can have much more than 3 screens, and I won't even be limited by the minimum angle due to the length/width of the screen. I could have 5 screens yet my neck only needs to move the angle of 2.
  • I fully expect that a HMD isn't going to be 2.4kg in weight.
  • 3:4 is a comfortable aspect ratio for portrait mode.
  • Only the active screen and position markers for windows on other screens will be visible at a time, so the only peripheral vision light should be from the environment.
  • I might still have issues with colour uniformity since the current solution uses 4 seperate panels. At least it'll be consistent between virtual monitors.
  • It's large. I expect a 170" desktop at 6m away, which would be a screen 2.5m high and 3.4m wide.
  • It's small, so would be easier...
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  • [P] Glassware

    kelvinA11/28/2022 at 21:15 0 comments

    Sweet. Today, the glass elements for the test rig (lenses and 90 degree prizm) arrived today, which I wasn't expecting because they were the last things to dispatch, according to AliExpress. No idea how they jumped the queue but I'll take it. Looking at tracking, I predict to have everything else this week, so I probably should get started on designing the test rig.

    I'd like to mention that this yellow paper tape looks and feels actualy quite nice.
    They came packaged in white tissue paper, and unwrapping them like massive candies was tasty... delicious.
    I wasn't expecting the lens to have a way deeper curve on one side than the other. Good thing I didn't assume they'd be even on both sides and tried a computational simulation.
    Looking through the deep curve side.
    Looking through the narrow curve side. The visible range that isn't the lens is noticably smaller.

    For (checks notes) £2 worth of lens, the first one inspected looks really nice. I'm glad I haven't yet needed to attempt to 3D print something custom, because I doubt even a theoretically perfect #SecSavr Suspense [gd0105] would get this visual clarity.

    [some time later]

    Checked all the glass and it all looks divine.

    The prism has a mirror-coated face but it doesn't extend all the way to the edges so this would only be usable for moving the beam around. 

    The total internal reflections look cool though, and it indeed does the dove-prism reflection thing if looked at from the right angle. I feel like I'm not going to get a perfect edge-to-edge merge using plain prisms, but I do think I can get close. Even Samsung shipped out a phone with a crease line, so I've got to give my hobbyist run some slack.

    Lastly, the F-40 lens (deep/shallow curved face)

    Assuming the packaging is massless, the lenses weigh 140.9g. 92.6g is the 3 F-30's and 48.2g is the 2 F-40's. Average lens weight is 28.18g. Prism is 10.7g, so I'd assume a beamsplitter is 2x that at 21.4g and 10mm prisms are 1/8th at 1.3g. Thus, in glassware alone, I'm estimating a weight of 496.2g. That doesn't sound great. Google suggests that the average motorcycle helmet is 1.5kg, so perhaps I could still obtain a comfortable solution for prototypes.

    Chromatic abberation of the lenses looks minimal, but the entire view is minimal so it might be more apparent in testing.

  • [R] AR/VR/MR Curiosity

    kelvinA11/26/2022 at 21:34 0 comments

    Whilst impatiently waiting for the optical gear to arrive from AliExpress, I did a bit of looking around on the internet for things related to Mixed Reality. It's not strictly TyMist related, but with all the different systems I'd need to design and test, I don't really want to find out I could've just taken it easy for a month or two and a company to come out with the next generation in MR technology. I'd still accept it, since I'd rather not invent everything here -- it sounds exciting until you have to spend hours grinding in some software because some things you think should've been a 30 second action is actually 600.

    Pixel Counts

    For starters, I wanted to see how many pixels I'd actually need to fill the entire area of vision reachable by the centre of my eye. It seems that a 45 degree cone was a good rough estimate. The pancake lenses for the 2560 OLED is also 90 degrees, so it sounds like a sensible number. 

    The Nvidia ppd calculator says that an 8192x8192px at 90ppd center would give me an FOV of 91 degrees, and the reason why I chose that number is because, if the image merging idea of TyMist actually works, it could be possible to combine 4 4096px displays. I also looked into 8640x7680, which is 2 portrait 8K HD displays side to side. That would give a vertical FOV of 85 and horizontal of 96. The edge PPD is 118, so there should be enough to get a decent amount of peripheral vision of the eye covered too. But still... 16K. That's what the equivalent of 4 8K displays is, counting the pixels. Obviously, foveated rendering needs to be a thing that exists in the future.

    With the screen panels of today, 5760px square is likely the best doable using the quad 2880 MiniLED panels. This theoretical headset would have a peak brightness of 760 nits, but won't be cheap since each panel was £150 each on Alibaba. 

    I found though-the-lens videos of the Pimax Crystal, which uses 2 of these panels:

    Since I don't have a VR headset, it's nice to see what it looks like. Considering the difference to the Pimax 8K, all I can think of is "Wow. People can play with all this blur? Wow, the human mind is impressive." 

    I also found this image:

    The ppd calc says that 5760 equates to 60ppd, which seems to match up with doubling and averaging the Crystal's PPD numbers.

    Next, I'd like to say that I'm very excited for Porotech's new... tech, DPT.

    Basically, say goodbye to individual red, green and blue subpixels. I've always wondered what would happen if someone had a 4th retina cone evenly spaced between green and blue, and how the world around them would look new and even more vibrant, but all screens would have a bright but unnatural colour (imagine if the rest of the world only saw red and blue. White to them would be magenta to you with your RGB cones). Well Me In That Imaginary World doesn't have to worry any longer. This single pixel would be able to ouput near-UV blues, real cyans, authentic yellows and White(tm). It might even be usable for 3D printing since there has been research into resins that react differently based on exposure to different wavelengths of light. Another benefit is that this tech could double the resolution of a screen since now a subpixel can be an actual pixel; the 4K displays of today can become the 8K displays of tomorrow, making a 4K Nreal Air a reality.

    Future Headsets on the Community Wishlist

    Whilst scanning, I noticed that PSVR and Apple's forever-rumoured headset usually come up. 

    For Playstation conversations, some are hoping that someone out there cooks up a port for PCVR. 

    For Apple, it seems that the conversations are more along the lines of what the VR landscape will be like after they announce and start selling their product. It seems like they've got high expectations of Apple to unveil something revolutionary. Even I got on that Dynamic Island hype train, so I can see where those expectations are coming from. Additionally, it's expected that AR is where the real mass-adoption...

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  • [M] Bottom-edge tweak and trying textures

    kelvinA11/23/2022 at 19:02 0 comments

    Below is the 3 step process I did:

    I like the look of the centre one, but worry that the sharp edge will hurt.

    Now I think that the design is decent enough to move on, since it essentially needs to fit a pillow, air purifier, bike helmet and audio headset in there, even if the TyMist part fails. I'm just putting Solyndr and TyMist stuff in the same project for now.

    I'm starting to see a resemblance to those thick, cold climate hats. Since nobody wears much-anything other than glasses, hats and audio equipment, any solution practically possible is going to be noticed by anyone even half atentive in a 50 metre radius. I think the best solution is to aim for a "Wow. That's a MASSIVE hat/helmet. Never seen that before. Anyway..." thought process in the public eye. Hopefuly I'd be wearing #TEOSS [gd0037] + #TetInventory [gd0039] too and I'd just be considered another food delivery service person. Maybe with some reflective stickers, it'll look more like a (road) safety device and less of a fashion statement; I think people are more tolerant if it looks like something is being worn for work/safety.

    Just add some wool, maybe a pair of golden buttons... and now I can see the Kickstarter ad where the person inside is smiling, looking to the top right of the scene before the music starts and the trendy logo shows up.

    I think this concept is at a point where any aesthetic changes would be texture based:

    I like the matte metal paint (left) and granite (centre) look than carbon fibre (right). I think the matte metal looks the most calming. Also, I thought some white lines would also add some nice design contrast.

    The textures actually make it look smaller and more like a bike helmet I'd find hung up on a Halfords or Wilko rack. Texturing is the last of my worries though, and since I've got a lot of White PETG and Transparent White PLA, all projects are still likely to be white.

  • [R] Hololens Try-on

    kelvinA11/19/2022 at 17:59 0 comments

    My university just happened to have a Microsoft Hololens 2 that I was able to try. The guys there said that it was in the region of £2k, and I'd assume that's after an education discount.


    1. As with most Microsoft hardware products I know exist, Hololens looked nicely designed.
    2. I like the rear dial to tighten over the head, and the optics can be swivelled out of the way when putting it on/taking it off.
    3. The first thing I noticed was the light non-uniformity. I think it was on this website but I remember seeing an image that showed how the brightness noticably decreases closer to the edges of the FOV.
    4. The FOV was better than expected. I really think it's because there's less light on the edges, so the projected image more guadually comes into view instead of a sharp boundary.
    5. The 3d... didn't seem that 3D. Like there was depth but it was more like a 3DS. I assume that this was the thing that VR users talk about where everything, no matter if it's close or far, is at the same focus. 
      1. I quickly compared the view that my left and right eyes were seeing, and the difference was noticable but small. Perhaps I was supposed to set IPD or something to that effect, but I think dual cloned images for TyMist is sill better than 1 eye only.
    6. I initially noticed how choppy the hand tracking was, but not how fluid the air-drawn text in the background was. I don't plan on any hand tracking so I'm more interested in the FPS needed to achieve the latter. Googling seems like 60fps, which is suprising.
    7. The experience was cool, but not sharp. I just searched and the Hololens 2 has a PPD of 47.
    8. The brightness of the world is higher than the 2 way mirror.

  • [R] Helmet Safety Initial Research

    kelvinA11/19/2022 at 05:29 0 comments

    Now, because I've got a project called #TEOSS [gd0037] that will see me walking at elevated speeds, Moonwalkers inventor (a walk assist solution like TEOSS that's currently on Kickstarter) started to mine for a solution after almost colliding with a car on is scooter, and because this is a helmet which would be hard to transport in #TetInventory [gd0039], I'd very much like to know about and integrate safety features into TyMist. Just because certification is unlikely doesn't mean I shouldn't try and make projects safer. 

    Initial expectations:

    • High visibility
    • Helmet needs to be secured by an under-chin strap when in transit to prevent it from falling off
    • Shocks need to be safely absorbed.
    • Helmet needs to be able to slide.

    Initial mental simulation findings:

    • High helmet diameter may result in higher moment forces on neck.
    • A front crash may slide the visor out, causing it to only be supported on one side.
    • The discontinuous edge between the cylinder and flat top face may be caught on rough terrain instead of allowing the helmet to slide across.
    • The floor or collision object will initially be an impact, but it is most likely that I'd have enough momentum to slide across the floor afterwards.

    Search map:

  • [M] Nose cutout not needed

    kelvinA11/18/2022 at 14:19 0 comments

    I punched the numbers into the calculator and this should achieve a PPD or 94.5. A PPD of 90 would be a 32 degree cone. If 52mm is larger than this cone, the PPD is less than 90, and higher than 90 if smaller. I've angled it so that the image starts at the precise angle that the user can see past the top of the helmet, which could allow for some cool "TyMist On" visual animations.

    I thought I'd use an actual skin colour for this render. It's actually just the copper PETG material.

    I think this concept looks extremely clean and fresh now. Kind of like Blanc:

    I liked the idea but wasn't as much of a fan of the lack of face visibility (its main selling point) or that the back was uncovered.

    Wait a second. This reminds me of Kerwhizz, one of my favourite shows over a decade ago:

  • [M] Concept 2 Refined

    kelvinA11/18/2022 at 11:34 0 comments

    I can't find a 350mm OD transparent tube, and I can only imagine that a wood jig to bend a pane into the half cylinder I'd need would need a lot of wood. I'll try and compute a solution later on. For now, I could have a black window for a cinema blackout. Alternatively, I could print a mesh or grid to adhere the film onto. 

    Anyway, I've reduced the extra amount of helmet under the door area (the part with the steep chamfer) to increase head rotational freedom. I've also removed the eagle-like front section, so it's now just a cylinder all the way.

    I expect the LED to internally reflect inside the curved window, meaning that the LED light will also be visible on the bottom of it.
    If I then add some soft materials, I think it's going to look quite comfortable. I'd still like to avoid a nose cutout on the combiner though. It increases manufacturing complexity, and most likely would still be an issue when I'm lying to the side and the helmet gets pushed to the left/right.

  • [M] Concept 2

    kelvinA11/17/2022 at 06:11 0 comments

    I slept on it and yeah I need that Thunderbird 5 solution: 

    Unfortunately, It seems that I'd need a 350mm radius window (and a 150mm x 75 x 75 combiner). 300mm seemed like a really nice size, but 350 is wider than I'd like.
    I belive, however, that as a user inside the helmet and not looking at it, 350mm will feel much more spacious.

    The front window is 100mm, which looks to be enough to cover the nose and hopefully enough to provide fresh breathing air.

    I'm probably keeping the TyMist name. Or perhaps TyCyMistify.

    I should've mentioned this earlier, but the LED ring is like the RGB one on Alexa powered devices. The idea is to get the PLDC to reflect some of that light for a Phillips HUE like background effect.

  • [M] Solyndr Concept

    kelvinA11/16/2022 at 14:15 0 comments

    Ah yeus... something that, once again, looked fine in my mind but isn't geometrically viable, so the resultant solution looks bulkier than expected.
    The issue stems from the final fresnels across the IPD range. Actually, I don't think I properly remembered how far from the front of my face the combiner actually sticks out.
    Yeah this is a lot closer to what I was imagining.
    Maybe a fusion of the 2 concept ideas could work out?
    Yeah like increase the diameter so that there's ample amount of cusioning space at the back of the head, then add a thing at the top. Disregard the part where the 2 transparent parts collide for now...
    Ok, the look doesn't outright fail. It looks like a royal guard from 2060. I probably wouldn't fit the decollimator in that front lip though. I guess if space was less of a limitation, it could look like this:
    Ok now I'm getting somwhere that looks large but modern.

    I actually like the tall hat more, but this does look sleeker to ride a bike with. It certainly looks more like something that would come out of a kickstarter and not a cosplay catalouge (do those exist?). 

    This gives me an idea. Now that there's another window to handle the sides of my eyes, I could have a reflective panel that can fold away:

    I think this could work, since it's got the same base design idea as #Tetent TestCut and #Tetent Timespy [gd0136].

    Then add an LED ring...

    I can already feel the crisp and fresh air just looking at this concept. The middle of the LED ring is dark because the combiner folds over it. The only shame is that I can't have that Thunderbird 5 idea where the PLDC covered cylindrical door slowly rotates around the background of the virtual monitors.

  • [T] Solutionary Cylinder (Solynder)

    kelvinA11/15/2022 at 07:54 0 comments

    In related news, I'm computing a solution that looks past the TyMist. If the test rig works and is no more complicated to set up than levelling a 3D printer build plate, I might skip the TyMist and go straight to this idea.

    Essentially, the Solynder is a name I recently thought up to call the helmet I've been thinking over for the past 24-48 hours. It'll vaguely be like #Tetent TestCut if the top face was a circle instead of a square. It's a cylinder for 3 reasons. 

    1. I want the front door to be motorised open, I don't want any of my 180 degree horizontal field of view obstructed, and I don't want the door sticking out when open. 
      1. I remember seeing a 3D printer enclosure concept years ago but I can't find it now.
      2. The door is to keep as much of the same air in the helmet as possible. There would be air scrubbing and conditioning in the helmet, because like I'd rather eat on a washed plate instead of an unwashed one 30 restaurant customers before me ate on, I'd rather breathe some washed air and not the invisible mysteriums floating about. 
        1. At least with food, I only need to eat a couple times a day and the consumables go though some hydrochloric acid first before entering the bloodstream. Air? I think it's a direct absorption into the bloodstream and I have to breathe at least once every 10 seconds.
    2. The helmet also includes over-ear audio. Looking at normal headsets, the front:back left:right head dimensions are roughly cylindrical already.
    3. I want to be able to rest in bed with the helmet on. This means that the rear of the helmet has to follow a similar curve to the back of my head, or at least a continuous curve on the back of my head.

    Now, as some future thinkers in the industry would be able to tell you, attempting to fit a lot of tech into something even remotely consumer-edition is somewhat far off. That's partially the reason of the helmet idea. I may look a bit closer to a futuristic Mojo Jojo than some 80's early adopter, but from my point of view, there's a lot of benefits and less of the drawbacks (and looking futuristic is probably better anyway).

    Audio on the Solynder will remove the requirement from #Tetent [gd0090]. I also want to try (or at least research into) a 2 tweeter + subwoofer-ish configuration on each ear. The idea is that the tweeters are 120 degrees appart (with the main speaker inbetween them) and I could recreate 7.1 surround sound. 

    Ideally, the door will be able to rotate a full 360 degrees. That means if it opened and went into the right side of the helmet, it could close from the left side and keep doing that. I think it'll look pretty cool having it slowly rotate like Thunderbird 5 whilst working.

    I've used "y" instead of "i" in Solynder because I think it looks more obvious that the name was derived from "Cylinder". I guess I could go full Startup(TM) with the name with "Solyndr", a bit like "Savr" in SecondSavr.

    Lastly, I'd look into wireless video methods. Having 0 cables, or just 1 when charging, sounds like a nice idea. My main lead is WiGig, but I'd take a 90Hz stream over WiFi too. WiGig supports DP 1.4, right?

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