Mapping the Field of View

The Wide5 rendered and displayed pixels differently across a user's field of view with great effect. It meant that all pixels were not created equally. I wanted to next study and quantify this to power my future iterations of HMD designs. I started by simply cropping the field of view and qualitatively finding what I called the 'sweet spot of immersion.' Right around 90 to 100 degrees seemed to provide enough periphery to evoke visceral emotions. Less than that led to very flat, logical experiences. This sweet spot was key to our FOV2GO designs.


I worked with post doctorate researcher Adam Jones to secure a grant from the Office of Naval Research to begin to quantify what we were finding. We conducted a series of experiments presenting users with varying visual stimuli across their field of view while performing tasks as a means of gauging the effectiveness of the presented information. For example, comparing how far users walk to a target in real versus virtual cases. We expected and found that a wider field of view leads to more accurate walking, but we also discovered something quite remarkable. By simply stimulating peripheral vision with a white frame of light, we could partially simulate the advantages of the wide field of view. Another interesting result was finding advantages to shaping the periphery to be non-rectilinear; for example, occluding a region much like a user's nose does to their actual view. The future of this research holds a great deal of promise for forthcoming HMD design.

150 degree Full Wide5

Simulated 90 degree New “Sweet Spot”

Simulated 60 degree Prior HMDs

White border of light offers advantages of full field of view

Selected Publications

Irregular Framing Simulates Nose

(c) 2015 Mark T. Bolas