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Proceedings Paper

Design of a free-form single-element head-worn display
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Paper Abstract

Compact and lightweight optical designs achieving visually acceptable image quality, field of view, eye clearance, eye box diameter and operating across the visible spectrum, are the key to the success of next generation head-worn displays. There have been several approaches in the design of head-worn displays including holographic optical elements and laser scanner systems. For example, Minolta has pursued a monochromatic display (green) with a 3 mm exit pupil realized by a 3.4 mm thick light guide with a holographic optical element to achieve an eyeglass form-factor head-worn display [1]. Our approach in this paper is to investigate the field of view, eyebox diameter, and the performance limit of a single element magnifier comprised of freeform surfaces. The surface shape is a major variable in such a constrained system with respect to the optimization degrees of freedom. Typical optical surfaces are functions mapping vectors in R2 to real numbers representing the sag of the surface. A majority of optical designs to-date have relied on conic sections to which are added polynomials as the functions of choice. The choice of conic sections is easily justified, since conic sections are stigmatic surfaces under certain imaging geometries. The choice of polynomials from an image quality analysis point of view is understood since the wavefront aberration function is typically expanded in terms of polynomials. Therefore, a polynomial surface description may link a designer's understanding of the wavefront aberrations and the surface shape. However, from the point of view of shape optimization and representation, polynomial shape descriptions can be challenged. In Section 2, we briefly describe the radial basis function approach to represent freeform optical surfaces. In Section 3, we apply the RBF to design a single element see-through compatible head-worn display.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 2010
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7618, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies V, 761803 (12 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.840716
Show Author Affiliations
Ozan Cakmakci, Optical Research Associates (United States)
Kevin Thompson, Optical Research Associates (United States)
Pierre Vallee, Hedzopt Inc. (Canada)
Jasmin Cote, Hedzopt Inc. (Canada)
Jannick P. Rolland, Univ. of Rochester (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7618:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies V
Liang-Chy Chien, Editor(s)

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