Lightfields involve the basic physics what we see in the physical world. And to simulate how photons hit our eyes to render images in our brains, they will be a key part in immersive technologies like AR and VR.

Where this really comes into play is the vision (excuse the pun) for volumetric VR experiences. The key is photorealistic 3D object rendering from every possible angle, including things like accurate light reflections.

We already have fully immersive graphical VR in games, including positional tracking. And we have photorealistic VR — mostly 360 video — without the ability to move around with 6 degrees of freedom.

But the true promise of VR is the best of both worlds: photo-realistic immersive 3D spaces you can walk around and experience positional tracking. And the key to that is accurate lightfield capture and display.

Check out the video below for a lightfield explainer, featuring our favorite expert on the topic, Ryan Damm. It’s a good way to wrap your brain around this complex, but equally important, component of immersive tech.

This also hopefully makes up, in a small way, for our unexpected postponement of this week’s VRARA SF lightfield event, due to the Golden State Warriors victory parade. More to come on the new date.