An anonymous reader writes "The combination of smartphone panels with relatively cheap and light-weight lenses enabled affordable wide-angle Head Mounted Displays like the Oculus Rift. However, these optics introduce distortions when viewing the image through the HMD. So far these have been compensated for in software by using post-processing pixel shaders that warp the image. However, by doing so a loss in image quality (sharpness) can be perceived. Now researchers from Intel found a way around this error by using different sampling for rendering, therefore potentially increasing the image quality of all current and future HMDs with a wide field of view."
Rather than applying barrel distortion to the final raster image, the researchers warp the scene geometry during rasterization
. However, it currently requires ray tracing so it's a bit
computationally expensive. Note that a vertex transformation can be used (with tessellation used to enhance the approximation), but the results are of variable quality.