Unconventional approach forms images in the eye that could display information or aid visually impaired people
Researchers have developed a fundamentally new approach to a see-through display for augmented reality, or smart glasses. By projecting images from the glass directly onto the eye, the new design could one day make it possible for a user to see information such as directions or restaurant ratings while wearing a device almost indistinguishable from traditional glasses.
“Rather than starting with a display technology and trying to make it as small as possible, we started with the idea that smart glasses should look and feel like normal glasses,” said research team leader Christopher Martinez of the Laboratoire d’électronique des technologies de l’information (Leti) in France. “Developing our concept required a great deal of imagination because we eliminated the bulky optical components typically required and instead use the eye itself to form the image.”
In Optica, The Optical Society’s journal for high-impact research, the authors detail their new retinal projection display concept and report positive results from initial optical simulations. Although glasses using this new approach wouldn’t be useful for showing videos, they could provide information in the form of text or simple icons.
“Although we are focused on augmented reality applications, the new display concept may also be useful for people with vision problems,” said Martinez. “The disturbance present in the eye could be integrated into the projection, giving visually impaired people a way to see information such as text.”
Forming an image in the eye
The unconventional display design rapidly projects individual pixels, which the brain puts together to form letters and words. “We don’t bring an image to the surface of the glass, but instead bring information that is emitted in the form of photons to make the image in the eye,” explained Martinez.
According to the design concept this feat would be accomplished by sending photons from a laser or other light source through a light-guiding component into a holographic optical element created within the lens of the glasses. Holographic optical elements that are significantly smaller than their traditional counterparts can be made in light-sensitive plastics using the same laser light interactions that make holograms such as those that protect credit cards from forgery.
For the concept to work, it is critical that all the projected photons have synchronized phases and match in coherence. Otherwise, a noisy image is formed, akin to what you would hear if the members of a choral group were singing the same song but starting and stopping at different times. The researchers used the holographic element to synchronize the phase, like a cue that helps the singers start at the same moment.
“It is very complicated to use traditional methods such as a mask with an optical structure to adjust the phase of photon emitters that are separated from each other by just hundreds of microns,” said Martinez. “Our design uses a unique holographic element to synchronize the photons by matching the phase with a reference beam.”
The design also includes a grid of lightguides that makes the photons coherent, akin to making sure the singers all sing at the same speed. This component was made using an integrated photonics approach that incorporates the same semiconductor fabrication techniques used to make computer chips and fabricate optical components in silicon.
The researchers say that their display concept is an important example of the new opportunities for retinal projection that will now be possible thanks to recent developments in integrated photonics, which have moved from applications using telecommunication wavelengths into visible wavelengths that can be used in displays.
Seeing outside the box
Because of the limited space available in glasses’ lenses, the first prototype will likely have a resolution of 300 by 300 pixels, which the researchers say could be improved by stacking two displays on top of each other. Importantly, the design enables completely new ways to use the pixels available, which are not constrained to a square shape like traditional displays.
“Using a holographic element to form a retinal display is quite different from the traditional grid of pixels used for traditional displays,” said Martinez. “For example, information could be projected to the left and right portions of the field of view with no information in between, without increasing the complexity of the display.”
A detailed optical simulation of the new design validated the new approach and revealed that a clearer image would be created if the points where light is emitted were arranged randomly rather than with a periodic pattern. The researchers are now figuring out how to best accomplish this random arrangement. They also point out that although the device should be safe because very little light will be needed to form the image on the eye, safety studies will be needed as development progresses.
The researchers plan to make and test the individual components before creating a working prototype. The first prototype will display static monochromatic images, but the researchers are confident that the retinal projection approach can be used for a dynamic multi-color display.
The Latest on: Smart glasses
via Google News
The Latest on: Smart glasses
- Viewpointsystem VPS 19 Smart Glasses: Game-Changers in the Workplace on December 18, 2018 at 8:56 am
Vienna-based Viewpointsystem is introducing at CES 2019 the VPS 19 smart glasses, which the company says integrate Mixed Reality (MR) with real-life needs in the workplace for real-time eye and percep... […]
- Comprehensive and Innovative AR/VR Smart Glasses Technology Patent Portfolio For Sale on December 18, 2018 at 7:29 am
NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Hilco Streambank, a leading advisory firm specializing in the sale of intellectual property assets, is marketing for sale an extensive patent portfolio covering ... […]
- Global Electrically Active Smart Glass and Windows Market to 2025| POLYMODEL, Polysolar, Magnolia Solar, LG, Pythagoras Solar, Samsung, Solterra on December 18, 2018 at 1:59 am
Albany, NY, 18th December : Recent research and the current scenario as well as future market potential of "Global Electrically Active Smart Glass and Windows Market Insights, Forecast to 2025" global... […]
- North Focals grabbed Intel Vaunt tech for AR smart glasses shortcut on December 17, 2018 at 7:54 am
Discreet AR glasses company North’s Focals smart specs sounded a lot like Intel’s ill-fated Vaunt project, and it turns out that’s with good reason. The startup – formally known as Thalmic Labs – got ... […]
- Global Electrochromic Smart Glass market by types, applications, countries, companies and forecasts to 2023 covered in a latest research on December 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm
This report focuses on the Electrochromic Smart Glass in Global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa. This report also categorizes the ma... […]
- A shirt as smart as your phone? Coming soon, as wearable device options grow on December 13, 2018 at 3:23 pm
Now researchers and companies are looking to make your clothes as smart as your phone. The demand for smartwear is on the rise and the age of high-tech textiles and augmented reality glasses are here. ... […]
- Tesla patents Google Glass-like AR system for factory workers on December 11, 2018 at 3:23 am
After launching a less-than-successful AR smart glasses device called Google Glass, Google thought about pivoting the product from a consumer device to an enterprise device. They launched an ... […]
- Vuzix Announces Commercial Availability of the M300XL Smart Glasses for Enterprise on December 6, 2018 at 8:43 am
Vuzix Corporation (VUZI), a leading supplier of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technology and products, is pleased to announce the commercial availability of the Vuzix M300XL Smart Glasses f... […]
- Global Smart Glass market outlook to 2025 published by leading research firm on December 6, 2018 at 5:57 am
Smart Glass Market Report 2018-2025 includes a comprehensive analysis of the present Market. The report starts with the basic Smart Glass industry overview and then goes into each and every detail. Sm... […]
via Bing News