Researchers from CEA-Leti developed a new approach to a see-through display for augmented reality by projecting images from the glass directly onto the eye
In a study published in the journal Optica on October 04, 2018, researchers from CEA-Leti described new retinal projection display concept. The unconventional display design rapidly projects individual pixels that are put together by the brain to form letters and words. According to the team, this breakthrough can be achieved when photons are sent from a laser or other light source through a light-guiding component into a holographic optical element that is created within the lens of the glasses.
To make the concept a practical success, it is necessary to have projected photons in synchronized phases and match in coherence. The researchers used the holographic element to synchronize the phase. Moreover, the design includes a grid of light-guides that makes the photons coherent. To make this component, the team used an integrated photonics approach that incorporates the same semiconductor fabrication techniques used to make computer chips. According to the researchers, the novel display concept is an important example of the new opportunities for retinal projection that can be possible due to recent developments in integrated photonics.
The first prototype will likely have a resolution of 300 by 300 pixels, owing to the limited space available in glasses' lenses. The team stated that the resolution can be improved by stacking two displays on top of each other. Moreover, the design facilitates completely new ways to use the pixels available that are not constrained to a square shape, which are evident in conventional displays. To confirm the new approach, the team performed a detailed optical simulation of the novel design. The results also revealed that a clearer image would be created when the points where light is emitted were arranged randomly rather than with a periodic pattern. The team is focused on achieving this random arrangement and studying safety-related parameters of the technique. The team plans to make and test the individual components prior to developing a working prototype.
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