Q&A: Immersive Display Technology Grabs the Spotlight at Display Summit 2017

Display Summit

Modern Military Training editors recently had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Chinnock, the President of Insight Media to discuss the upcoming Display Summit. The event, which will be hosted at the Rockwell Collins offices in Sterling, VA on October 4-5, will bring together industry leaders and technology vendors to discuss the need for advance display technology across commercial, B2B, government and military applications.

Chinnock shared with us that consumer technologies including augmented and virtual reality (AR/ VR) and the growing demand for immersive display technologies are driving the innovation in the industry.  Read the full Q&A below:

Modern Military Training (MMT) Editors: The Display Summit is just around the corner. Tell us a bit about the event and what attendees can expect to get from the event.

Chris Chinnock: Display Summit is an event we have run for 15 years. It always focuses on advanced technologies in displays including connectivity. The idea is to hear from leading technologists to understand the trends and needs for advanced displays in commercial, professional, military and government applications.

We like to also feature panel discussions to explore topics in more detail and we usually have an engaged audience, as these topics are complex.  Sometimes we have a small exhibit area and other times we organize new, cutting-edge demos.

The event should provide some insight into the near term future of display technology and applications, which can be used to guide technology or product development and strategic planning. Many people have told me it’s also a really good networking and business development opportunity.  This year’s event focuses on immersive display technology from head-worn AR/VR devices to Level D simulators.

MMT Editors: What are the big trends in the industry that are driving display technology innovation?

Chinnock: Certainly image fidelity has a big impact on realism and developers are always striving for more realism. In virtual reality (VR) for example, there are many factors that can impact realism such as resolution per eye, field of view, frame rate, latency, color gamut, motion artifacts, etc. One can solve many of these issues, but the trade-offs in terms of size, weight, power, ergonomics, etc., are likely to be unacceptable today.

Understanding where the technology is going, the trade-offs people are making today, and how technology advancements may change this trade-off equation in the future is the type of discussion to expect at Display Summit (on this subject anyway).

We also have a very interesting session planned on LED technology. While the roots of this technology are in the LED digital signage screens we all have seen, new technology is now enabling the creation of incredible images at much lower light levels, with image quality suitable for next generation cinema. Can this technology be the future for large screen simulation? We want to find out.

MMT Editors: How are these technologies and innovations impacting how organizations are implementing training and simulation programs?

Chinnock: It is a bit of a cliché, but the pace of technology innovation is clearly accelerating. This puts more pressure on these organizations to track more technologies and invest in more development projects to field the next generation solution as fast as possible. That means you better guess correctly on which technologies and applications to target.

Three years ago, inexpensive VR headsets allowed training and simulation companies to start to consider all kinds of new applications; previously, such headsets were tens of thousands of dollars.

Clearly, such new applications require careful consideration about the application need, what the hardware and software can deliver, the cost, time frame, value proposition, etc. The challenge is that the pace of innovation in this area is so rapid that you must constantly reevaluate the above variables.

MMT Editors: As military customers are looking to the consumer industry for the next big thing in display technology/ augmented/ virtual reality, what should they consider?

Chinnock: Consumer technology is driving innovation in many areas today so military customers need to track it. But of course, military needs are vastly different than consumer needs. Longevity, ruggedness, security are but a few of the differences. On the other hand, the ability to rapidly insert new technology into training and field operations must be a critical consideration as well. This can advance capabilities, but with some risk.

Light field displays is one area where work in the consumer and professional markets will help military and government users. Such displays offer the promise to deliver the ability to look into and around in a volume of display space and see objects with 3D perspective without the use of glasses or discomfort.

There are many datasets (e.g. photogrammetry, medical, CAD, point cloud, SAR, etc.) in military and government where the ability to deliver and display such information would offer a big leap in visualization, comprehension and decision making. This will be a big focus of Display Summit and the associated Streaming Media for Field of Light Displays (SMFoLD) workshop, which will focus on new ways to encode, format and deliver the intense data streams needed for such advanced visualization solutions.

MMT Editors: Are there any particular panels or presentations of note that would be helpful for our readers at Modern Military Training?

Chinnock: The light field session and panel discussion is certainly relevant as will be the presentations and panel discussion on AR/VR. The LED screen session could have a profound impact on big screen immersive solutions and we will have a panel for that as well.  And for those interesting in the future of streaming large VR/360 or light field data sets, the whole workshop on this topic on October 3 will be very stimulating.

To register for Display Summit, click here.