Google may have gotten there first, but Nvidia could wind up having the last laugh when it comes to improving head-mounted displays thanks new technology that takes the bulkiness out of eyeglass wearables.

Nvidia and researchers from the University of North Carolina have teamed up to build Pinlight Displays, a more streamlined version of Glass made famous (infamous?) by Google.

Rather than requiring a miniature display to dangle in front of the wearer like Google Glass, Pinlight Displays take advantage of the entire lens by utilizing a sheet of etched plastic with multiple points along the edges capable of acting as tiny projectors.

Coupled with a relatively inexpensive LCD panel, the result is up to 110 degrees field of view as shown in the image below, allowing the wearer to see far more content on the heads-up display (HUD) than competing wearables.

Pinlight Displays field of view
Expanding AR horizons

Prototype, for now

Needless to say, it's not quite that simple: Nvidia had to apply some of its graphics expertise to the source image in order to compensate for the unique projection system, along with additional processing power.

While a bulkier first-generation prototype required manual calibration for use, a slimmer second-generation version is said to have implemented automatic calibration that takes advantage of eye tracking to adjust for different users and resolutions.

Nvidia and the university plan to formally introduce Pinlight Displays to the world at SIGGRAPH 2014, kicking off this weekend in Vancouver, with a teaser website already priming the pump.

Although Pinlight is said to be less expensive than wearable displays already on the market, Nvidia remains mum on exactly how the technology will be used, or when it might be available to Glass-fatigued end users.

Via SlashGear