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Proceedings Paper

Virtual reality 3D headset based on DMD light modulators
Author(s): Bruce E. Bernacki; Allan Evans; Edward Tang
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Paper Abstract

We present the design of an immersion-type 3D headset suitable for virtual reality applications based upon digital micromirror devices (DMD). Current methods for presenting information for virtual reality are focused on either polarizationbased modulators such as liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) devices, or miniature LCD or LED displays often using lenses to place the image at infinity. LCoS modulators are an area of active research and development, and reduce the amount of viewing light by 50% due to the use of polarization. Viewable LCD or LED screens may suffer low resolution, cause eye fatigue, and exhibit a “screen door” or pixelation effect due to the low pixel fill factor. Our approach leverages a mature technology based on silicon micro mirrors delivering 720p resolution displays in a small form-factor with high fill factor. Supporting chip sets allow rapid integration of these devices into wearable displays with high-definition resolution and low power consumption, and many of the design methods developed for DMD projector applications can be adapted to display use. Potential applications include night driving with natural depth perception, piloting of UAVs, fusion of multiple sensors for pilots, training, vision diagnostics and consumer gaming. Our design concept is described in which light from the DMD is imaged to infinity and the user’s own eye lens forms a real image on the user’s retina resulting in a virtual retinal display.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 June 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9086, Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics VIII; and Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XIX, 90860R (13 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2053789
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce E. Bernacki, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Allan Evans, Avegant Corp. (United States)
Edward Tang, Avegant Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9086:
Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics VIII; and Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XIX
Daniel D. Desjardins; Kalluri R. Sarma; Peter L. Marasco; Paul R. Havig; Michael P. Browne; James E. Melzer, Editor(s)

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