Heads up displays for planes and cars using holography

The new heads-up display uses holographic optical elements to inject an image into the glass, or waveguide (left). The light enters the glass and bounces back and forth between its front and back edges until it reaches another holographic optical element that extracts a small portion of light that leaves the glass with each bounce (right). The extraction holographic creates a viewable image, with each bounce proportionally increasing the eye box size for the image. Image Credit: Pierre-Alexandre Blanche, University of Arizona.

New heads-up display technology will make it easier for drivers and pilots to see information while viewing the outside world

Heads-up displays are transparent devices used in airplanes and cars to provide information such as critical flight data or driving directions on the windshield. An innovative holography-based approach could soon make these heads-up displays much easier to see with a large eye box.

Current heads-up displays have a small eye box, meaning that the displayed information partially or wholly disappears if users shift their gaze too much. “A heads-up display using our new technology installed in a car would allow a driver to see the displayed information even if he or she moved around or was shorter or taller than average,” said research team leader Pierre-Alexandre Blanche of the University of Arizona, USA.

In The Optical Society journal Applied Optics, the researchers demonstrate a functional prototype heads-up display that uses holographic optical elements to achieve an eye box substantially larger than what is available without the holographic element. The researchers say that their approach could be turned into a commercial product in as little as a few years and might also be used to increase the size of the displayed area.

Heads-up displays are transparent devices used in airplanes and cars to provide information such as critical flight data or driving directions on the windshield. An innovative holography-based approach could soon make these heads-up displays much easier to see with a large eye box.

Current heads-up displays have a small eye box, meaning that the displayed information partially or wholly disappears if users shift their gaze too much. “A heads-up display using our new technology installed in a car would allow a driver to see the displayed information even if he or she moved around or was shorter or taller than average,” said research team leader Pierre-Alexandre Blanche of the University of Arizona, USA.

In The Optical Society journal Applied Optics, the researchers demonstrate a functional prototype heads-up display that uses holographic optical elements to achieve an eye box substantially larger than what is available without the holographic element. The researchers say that their approach could be turned into a commercial product in as little as a few years and might also be used to increase the size of the displayed area.

“Increasing the size of either the eye box or the displayed image in a traditional heads-up display requires increasing the size of the projection optics, relay lenses and all the associated optics, which takes up too much space in the dashboard,” said first author Colton Bigler, a doctoral student in Blanche’s laboratory. “Instead of relying on conventional optics, we use holography to create a thin optical element that can be ultimately applied onto a windshield directly.”

Using holograms to make optics
The same laser light interactions used to create the holograms that protect credit cards from forgery can also be used to fabricate optical elements such as lenses and filters in light-sensitive materials. These holographic elements are not only smaller than traditional optical components but can be mass produced because they are easily fabricated.

For the new head-up display, holographic optical elements redirect light from a small image into a piece of glass, where it is confined until it reaches another holographic optical element that extracts the light. The extraction hologram presents a viewable image with a larger eye box size than the original image.

“We are working with Honeywell to develop these displays for aircraft, but they could just as easily be used in cars,” Blanche said. “Our approach requires no expensive equipment and no new materials need to be developed. Furthermore, the display can be completely integrated into a standard car windshield.”

After performing optical simulations, the researchers created a laboratory version of their head-up display that created an eye box seven times larger than the original image. They then made a working prototype that displayed flight information on a piece of glass that can be part of the transparent enclosure that covers cockpits. Using the prototype, they were able to almost double the eye box of the original image and showed that the image doesn’t disappear until the user looks beyond the edge of the hologram. They also demonstrated that the presented image appears in the far field, meaning that observers don’t need to change their focus to see the displayed information.

“It’s possible to create a much larger eye box by increasing the size of the injection and extraction holographic elements, the only limitation is the size of the glass displaying the image,” Blanche continued. “Our work is a good example of how holography can be used to solve many types of optical problems for various applications. A similar approach might also be useful for augmented reality headsets, which also merge computer-generated images with views of the outside world but with a display that is close to the eye.”

Learn more: Holography Approach Improves Heads up Displays for Planes and Cars

 

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Navdy adds a HUD to any car

The Navdy prototype heads-up display (HUD) projects information onto the windscreen

The Navdy prototype heads-up display (HUD) projects information onto the windscreen

A modern heads-up display (HUD) projects a great deal of what was traditionally shown on a car’s instrument panel onto the windscreen, and is becoming must-have equipment for high-end modern cars.

However, as many of us don’t drive high-end expensive cars, we don’t get to take advantage of this technology. That’s where Navdy comes in. Currently in prototype form, the device promises to bring a projection display with voice and gesture controls to any car.

The Navdy prototype HUD integrates with your smartphone and your car’s instruments (accessed via the vehicle’s OBD II port) to emulate the functionality of a high-end projection display, whilst adding voice and gesture controls. To achieve this, the creators claim that the device can be paired with an iPhone (iOS 7+) or Android (4.3+) to allow any function that your phone has – such as maps, messages, and music streaming – to be accessed (or even read aloud) by Navdy.

A built-in infrared camera provides touchless gesture control so that drivers can answer a call by swiping left or dismiss it by swiping right, while the voice recognition capabilities of Siri or Google voice, depending on your phone, can also be used to initiate phone calls or to dictate texts or social media comments.

Read more . . .

 

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A new transparent display system could provide heads-up data

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New kind of see-through screen could be applied as a thin plastic coating on ordinary glass.

Transparent displays have a variety of potential applications — such as the ability to see navigation or dashboard information while looking through the windshield of a car or plane, or to project video onto a window or a pair of eyeglasses. A number of technologies have been developed for such displays, but all have limitations.

Now, researchers at MIT have come up with a new approach that can have significant advantages over existing systems, at least for certain kinds of applications: a wide viewing angle, simplicity of manufacture, and potentially low cost and scalability.

The innovative system is described in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications, co-authored by MIT professors Marin Solja?i? and John Joannopoulos, graduate student Chia Wei Hsu, and four others.

Many current “heads-up” display systems use a mirror or beam-splitter to project an image directly into the user’s eyes, making it appear that the display is hovering in space somewhere in front of him. But such systems are extremely limited in their angle of view: The eyes must be in exactly the right position in order to see the image at all. With the new system, the image appears on the glass itself, and can be seen from a wide array of angles.

Other transparent displays use electronics directly integrated into the glass: organic light-emitting diodes for the display, and transparent electronics to control them. But such systems are complex and expensive, and their transparency is limited.

The secret to the new system: Nanoparticles are embedded in the transparent material. These tiny particles can be tuned to scatter only certain wavelengths, or colors, or light, while letting all the rest pass right through. That means the glass remains transparent enough to see colors and shapes clearly through it, while a single-color display is clearly visible on the glass.

To demonstrate the system, the team projected a blue image in front of a scene containing cups of several colors, all of which can clearly be seen through the projected image.

While the team’s demonstration used silver nanoparticles — each about 60 nanometers across — that produce a blue image, they say it should be possible to create full-color display images using the same technique. Three colors (red, green, and blue) are enough to produce what we perceive as full-color, and each of the three colors would still show only a very narrow spectral band, allowing all other hues to pass through freely.

“The glass will look almost perfectly transparent,” Solja?i? says, “because most light is not of that precise wavelength” that the nanoparticles are designed to scatter. That scattering allows the projected image to be seen in much the same way that smoke in the air can reveal the presence of a laser beam passing through it.

Such displays might be used, for example, to project images onto store windows while still allowing passersby to see clearly the merchandise on display inside, or to provide heads-up windshield displays for drivers or pilots, regardless of viewing angle.

Read more . . .

 

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iOptik augmented reality contact lens prototype to be unveiled at CES

ioptik_contact_lenses-7

Embedded in the contact lens are micro-components that enable the user to focus on near-eye images

An augmented reality system which projects a heads-up display onto contact lenses

Though most of the attention surrounding the race to commercialize connected eyewear has focused on Google Glass, a lesser known player has been quietly toiling away. At CES this week, Washington-based company Innovega will be showcasing its first fully-functioning prototypes of iOptik, an augmented reality system which projects a heads-up display onto contact lenses.

We first learned of Innovega‘s vision for augmented reality back in 2012 when the company received a contract from DARPA to develop the iOptik prototype for the battlefield. Though it was clear that the technology could serve many uses outside of the military, the company’s progress in gearing it towards mainstream applications has caught our attention once again.

Before we get too excited, the iOptik system does not offer a solution for potential stigma attached to the less-than-discreet Google Glass, as it too requires a pair of glasses to function. Acting as a micro-display, the glasses project a picture onto the contact lens, which works as a filter to separate the real-world from the digital environment and then interlaces them into the one image.

According to the company, the technology enables users to focus on objects right in front of their eyes and in the distance simultaneously, offering an alternative solution to traditional near-eye displays which create the illusion of an object in the distance so as not to hinder regular vision.

Embedded in the contact lenses are micro-components that enable the user to focus on near-eye images. Light projected by the display (glasses) passes through the center of the pupil and then works with the eye’s regular optics to focus the display on the retina, while light from the real-life environment reaches the retina via an outer filter. This creates two separate images on the retina which are then superimposed to create one integrated image, or augmented reality.

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JVC Kenwood shows off prototype heads-up display

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Able to project information such as current speed, caller ID and more on the inside surface of the windshield

While walking through CES 2013, we happened upon something intriguing from JVC Kenwood. The company had a prototype laser heads-up display (HUD) on the floor that sports some interesting features, and that could soon show up as standard equipment on a variety of automobiles.

The new display, which the company describe as “a laser scanning module heads-up display,” is able to project information such as current speed, caller ID and more on the inside surface of the windshield. As with other HUD systems, this means that drivers won’t have to look down at all in order to receive a call or speak, using a hands-free device.

The motor that projects the image is a micro electromechanical system that is capable of 512 lines of resolution – it features red, green, and blue lasers. A major difference between JVC Kenwood’s HUD and others that are available in many luxury cars is a lack of background light. This creates a tighter image, that should prove less intrusive to drivers.

The device is capable of creating an image that is about 10 inches (25.4 cm) across, which should be large enough for drivers to see without losing focus on the road in front of them. The actual box that projects the image is about 5 x 3 inches (12.7 x 7.62 cm).

Read more . . .

via Gizmag – 
 

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