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Submitted in the partial fulfillment of requirements for the award of BACHELOR OF ENGINNEERING in ELECTRONICS & COMMUNICATON

Submitted by SUHAS.D.N 1DA07EC109


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Department of Electronics & Communication

Certified that the seminar report entitled VIRTUAL RETINAL DISPLAY is submitted by SUHAS.D.N having the USN 1DA07EC109 in partial fulfillment for the award of the Degree of Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communication of the Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum, during the year 2010-11.

The seminar report has been approved as it satisfies the academic requirements in respect of the seminar on current topics prescribed for the Bachelor of Engineering Degree.

Signature of Examiners (1) (2)

Signature of HOD

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With great pleasure and gratefulness, I extend my deep sense of gratitude to Mrs. USHARANI & Mrs. GIRIJA.S. for giving me an opportunity to accomplish my seminar under their guidance and to increase my knowledge. I also like to thanks Dr G.V.Jayaramaiah (HEAD, Electronics & communication Engineering, Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Bangalore) for giving his precious time & guidance for the successful completion of my seminar. I would express my sincere gratitude towards Electronics & communication Department, Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology for providing me required facilities and state-of-the-art technology. I am indebted to all our elders, lecturers and friends for inspiring me to do my seminar with immense dedication. Lastly I wish to thank each and every person involved in making my seminar successful.

Thank You.

Suhas.D.N VIII Sem. ECE

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Seminar is an important constituent of any curriculum and the B.E course is no exception to this general rule. A seminar helps a student in increasing his knowledge and confidence. Seminar switches process of learning to process of presenting knowledge. This provision offers a very good opportunity to the students to supplement their knowledge and skills by giving presentation. This opportunity should be utilized for developing and enhancing our skills. This report describes in detail my seminar in B.E 4th year, on topic VIRTUAL RETINAL DISPLAY.

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Abstract.....6 Introduction ......7 How we perceive Image........8 The Virtual Retinal Display ..10 System Description ...13 Safety Analysis...........16 Advantages ......22 Disadvantages.......24 Application.......25 with other systems.......29 Future Scope.30 Conclusion........33 References & Bibliography.. 34

10. Comparison 11. 12. 13.

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The technologies of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are the new paradigm for visual interaction with graphical environments. The features of VR are interactivity and immersion. To achieve these features, a visual display that is high resolution and wide field of view is necessary. For AR a visual display that allows ready viewing of the real world, with superimposition of the computer graphics is necessary. Current display technologies require compromises that prevent full implementation of VR and AR. A new display technology called the Virtual Retinal Display (VRD) has been created. The VRD has features that can be optimized for the human computer interfaces.

As one stares at a computer monitor, light is focused into a dime-sized image on the retina at the back of our eyeball. The retina converts the light into signals that enters our brain via the optic nerve. To eliminate the bulky, power-hungry monitor by painting the images themselves directly onto your retina. To do so, use tiny semiconductor lasers or special lightemitting diodes, one each for the three primary colors-red, green, and blue-and scan their light onto the retina, mixing the colors to produce the entire palette of human vision. Short of tapping into the optic nerve, there is no more efficient way to get an image into your brain. And they call it the Virtual Retinal Display, or generally a retinal scanning imaging system.

VRD readily creates images that can be easily seen in the ambient room light and it can create images that can be seen in ambient day light. All subjects are readily able to match the VRD brightness.

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The Virtual Retinal Display (VRD) is a new technology for creating visual images. It was developed at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab) by Dr. Thomas A. Furness III. The VRD creates images by scanning low power laser light directly onto the retina. This special method results in images that are bright, high contrast and high resolution. Current prototypes of the system produce full color images at a true 640 by 480 resolution. The technologies of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are the new paradigm for visual interaction with graphical environments. The features of VR are interactivity and immersion. To achieve these features, a visual display that is high resolution and wide field of view is necessary. For AR a visual display that allows ready viewing of the real world, with superimposition of the computer graphics is necessary. Current display technologies require compromises that prevent full implementation of VR and AR. A new display technology called the Virtual Retinal Display (VRD) has been created. The VRD has features that can be optimized for the human computer interfaces. The VRD is a visual display device that uses scanned light beams. Instead of viewing a screen, the user has the image scanned directly into the eye. A very small spot is focused onto the retina and is swept over it in a raster pattern. The VRD uses very low power and yet can be very bright. The technology has been developed such that the scanning element will cost only a few dollars in mass production. Low cost light sources, optics and controllers will make up the rest of the system. Ultimately, the overall device should be very inexpensive yet it will be small enough to mount on a spectacle frame. The development of this device has been driven by the need for a ubiquitous display that is lightweight, full color and high resolution. In particular, the demands for displays for virtual environments and augmented vision are most pressing. In the past, virtual environments displays have been very heavy, low resolution and have a small field of view. To create compelling virtual environments, the opposite is needed. The demands of displays for augmented reality, where the computer graphics image is superimposed on the real world, include a bright, high contrast image, and color that is appropriate. The special characteristics of images from the VRD may make it very useful for people with partial loss of vision.

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How we perceive Image.

A brief overview of human visual system is presented here in order to better understand how VRD works.

2.1 Retina
A multi-layered sheet of nerve cells at the back of each eye which converts light signals to electrical signals by performing a chemical reaction. The electric signals are transmitted to brain through the optic nerves.

2.2 Photoreceptor
Photoreceptors are the nerve cells in the retina which emit electrical signals when activated by light of particular wavelength. There are two types of photoreceptors cells. Rods which are responsible for low light perception and Cones which are used to perceive colour and bright light.

2.3 Macula
The macula is located roughly in the center of the retina. It is a small and highly sensitive part of the retina responsible for detailed central vision. The fovea is the very center of the macula. The macula allows us to appreciate detail and perform tasks that require central vision such reading.

Fig. 1 _ Macula view in eye

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2.4 Fovea
The fovea is the center most part of the macula and contains very large number of densely packed cones. This tiny area is responsible for our central, sharpest vision. A healthy fovea is key for reading, watching television, driving, and other activities that require the ability to see detail. It is because of very high concentration of the cones (photoreceptors responsible for color vision) which allow us to appreciate color.

Fig. 2 _ Fovea view in Macula

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The Virtual Retinal Display

The VRD scans modulated, low-power laser light to form bright, high-contrast, and highresolution images directly onto the retina. This technology is related to the technology underlying the scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) (4) but with the sole intent of image display, not acquisition. The VRD accepts the standard (RGB color or monochrome) output of a computer and generates a raster-scanned image similar to the CRT monitor (Figure 1). The portable VRD used in this study converts the VGA(red only) video output of a computer into a signal that modulates the laser diode light source. The modulated beam of light (636 nm) is scanned horizontally (15.75 kHz) and vertically (60 Hz) by two mirrors. A lens system converges the raster-scanned beam to a 0.8-mm exit pupil. When the viewer aligns his or her eye at the exit pupil, the collimated beams of scanning light create a virtual image that appears in the distance. A detailed explanation of the VRD during early development at the University of Washington is found in Johnston and Willey (5).

Figure 1.
Schematic diagram of the portable VRD used in this study. The directly modulated laser diode produced a monochrome red (636 nm) output. The video input was standard VGA (6403480) color video from a PC laptop computer.

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In the past similar systems have been made by projecting a defocused image directly in front of the user's eye on a small "screen", normally in the form of large glasses. The user focused their eyes on the background, where the screen appeared to be floating. The disadvantage of these systems was the limited area covered by the "screen", the high weight of the small televisions used to project the display, and the fact that the image would appear focused only if the user was focusing at a particular "depth". Limited brightness made them useful only in indoor settings as well. Only recently a number of developments have made a true VRD system practical. In particular the development of high-brightness LEDs have made the displays bright enough to be used during the day and adaptive optics have allowed systems to dynamically correct for irregularities in the eye (although this is not always needed). The result is a high-resolution screenless display with excellent color gamut and brightness, far better than the best television technologies. The VRD was invented by Kazuo Yoshinaka of Nippon Electric Co. in 1986. Later work at the University of Washington in the Human Interface Technology Lab resulted in a similar system in 1991. Most of the research into VRDs to date has been in combination with various virtual reality systems. In this role VRDs have the potential advantage of being much smaller than existing television-based systems. They share some of the same disadvantages however, requiring some sort of optics to send the image into the eye, typically similar to the sunglasses system used with previous technologies. It also can be used as part of a wearable computer system. More recently, there has been some interest in VRDs as a display system for portable devices such as cell phones, PDAs and various media players. In this role the device would be placed in front of the user, perhaps on a desk, and aimed in the general direction of the eyes. The system would then detect the eye using facial scanning techniques and keep the image in place using motion compensation. In this role the VRD offers unique advantages, being able to replicate a full-sized monitor on a small device.

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Retinal Scanning Technology in Low Vision

Scanned laser light for use in low-vision research and rehabilitation has previously been considered advantageous by several authors (69). Laser sources, as used within the VRD, can produce images beyond the brightness and contrast of conventional displays, such as the CRT and liquid crystal display (LCD). For example, miniature LCD displays used for the purpose of a wearable low-vision aid, project inferior images in terms of contrast and brightness compared to the CRT (10). Since a scanned laser beam is capable of intensity beyond what is safe for the human eye, the VRD has been designed and shown (11) to produce images at safe levels, well below maximum permissible exposure levels as defined by ANSI- and FDAregulated standards. The capacity of a display to produce bright images is important for lowvision use. Cornelissenetal. (12) tested partially sighted individuals with a wide range of maladies and found significant visual acuity improvement at higher illuminance levels. Specifically, higher illuminations have been suggested to improve reading speed for patients with macular degeneration (MD)(13). Previous research with low-vision individuals viewing retinal scanned images has shown promising results in the clinic. Webb and Hughes (6) reported dramatic improvement in visual acuity (up to 20/70) for several patients who previously could only distinguish light from dark. Culhametal (14) used a SLO in low-vision reading performance testing to both locate and display virtual images onto optimal retinal locations for reading. These authors suggest that their methods could be used to teach low-vision patients (e.g., with MD) how to more effectively use the remaining functional areas of their retina. In addition, visual acuity and survey data from eight lowvision subjects comparing VRD and CRT images with the use of full-color display systems have been reported by Viirre, et al. (15). In all of these studies, the unique capabilities of retinal light scanning benefited individuals with low vision. However, these studies used large, sophisticated lab systems, impractical for use as low-vision aids. Also, in the Viirre et al. (15) investigation, display brightness was optimized for each individual and was not matched in a controlled comparison. In study, a portable, monochrome red version of the VRD is used to better simulate a low-vision aid. It also offer the first study to match luminance and field of view (FOV) between the VRD and the CRT.

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System Description
The VRD is comprised of six basic parts: video source, control and drive electronics, photon sources, modulation devices, horizontal and vertical beam scanning, and delivery optics as shown in the Figure 3.

Fig. 3 _ Block Diagram of VRD

Video Source
Input source for the VRD is like all other display is either from VGA card of a PC or from Video camera.

Control and Drive Electronics

The control and drive electronics for the VRD store the incoming video signals and controls the acousto-optic modulators that encode the image data into the pulse stream. The color combiner multiplexes the individually modulated red, green, and blue beams to produce a serial stream of pixels, which is launched into a single mode optical fiber to propagate to the scanner assembly. The drive electronics receive and process an incoming video signal, provide image
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compensation, and control image display. For VGA projection, the electronics process over 18 Mpix/s. The virtual retinal display is capable of providing UXGA resolution of 1600 x 1200 or 115 Mpix/s. reorder alternating lines of the video stream. In addition, the drive and control electronics control the phasing of the image, and overall system timing.

Light source
The light sources in the VRD are typically lasers though it is possible to use LEDs in limited applications [1]. A single red laser diode having wavelength of 65O(nm)is used to provide a monochrome display. A blue argon laser(488nm), which produces blue lines and a helium-neon green laser (488nm) [1, 4], are used for the creation of a full color display. Systems designed for indoor use can incorporate LEDs red, blue, and green devices currently under development for such systems are being tested. Generally, the energy levels are on the order of nanowatts to milliwatts, depending on display requirements. Each color light must be individually modulated such that its intensity matches that of the image pixel being drawn. The Control and Drive electronics directly modulate the laser diode. The argon gas laser cannot be directly modulated at video rates. Therefore, an external acoustooptic modulator (AOM) performs the modulation for each of the argon's colors. For the full color system the modulated light from all lasers is combined into a single beam and injected into an optical ber, which runs to the scanner assembly. The safety issue regarding using the VRD is discussed in the section 4.

Scanner assembly
The modulated beam received from optical fiber is then scanned to place each image pixel at the proper position on the retina. To draw the raster, a horizontal scanner moves the beam to draw a row of pixels. A vertical scanner then moves the beam to the next line where another row of pixels is drawn. The scan rate can be determined by multiplying the number of lines in the display by the refresh rate of the display. For example a interlaced video which contains 525 lines that are refreshed 30 times per second resulting in a horizontal scanning frequency of 15,750 Hertz. The field-of-view or image size seen by the user is directly related to the angle through which the optical beam is scanned. The scan angle for the faster horizontal scan is not likely to match the total angular field-of-view desired for the display. An optical system must therefore be used to magnify the scan angle. The most important part of research in VRD was to

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send a scanner which can scan at high frequencies to provide high resolution and also having the property of wider view of angle. The result of this research was Mechanical resonant scanner [2] which is used for horizontal scanning and have the operating frequency in the range of 15.75KHz to 18.9KHz .The MRS has many unique features, foremost among these is the fact that the device has neither a moving magnet nor a moving coil. Instead, it uses a flux circuit whose only moving part is the torsional spring/mirror combination(mirror size= 3mm x 6mm) [1], [4]. Eliminating moving coils or magnets greatly lowers the rotational inertia of the device, thus raising the potential operating frequency. Currently MRS are available which can support display up to 800 display lines at a 60 Hz refresh rate. The vertical scanning is accomplished using a galvanometer with a second mirror. The galvanometer frequency is controlled by the control and drive electronics to match the 60Hz video frame rate. The galvanometer and horizontal scanner are arranged in what is believed to be a novel conguration such that the horizontal scan is multiplied because of increase in the optical scan angle. The scanners are arranged, such that the beam entering the scanner assembly strikes the horizontal scanner then strikes the vertical scanner and then leaves the scanner assembly and enters into pupil expander Figure 4. In order to achieve high resolution images by generating high scan rates. These days research is directed towards developing a MEMS(micro electromechanical system)-based full image scanner capable of bi-directional scanning using just one millimeter-sized mirror. By using MEMS researcher will be also able to eliminate the potential for "dead" pixels due to inoperative mirror elements.

Pupil expander
Nominally the entire image would be contained in an area of 22mm [6]. The exit-pupil expander (not shown in Figure 3) is an optical device that increases the natural output angle of the image and enlarges it up to 18 mm on a side for ease of viewing. The raster image created by the horizontal and vertical scanners passes through the pupil expander and on to the viewer optics.

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Viewer optics
The viewing optics or the optics through which the user sees the intended image. It contains an exit-pupil with which viewer align his eye in order to see the generated image. One important property of VRD is to generate images with the ability to see through i-e image is superimposed on the physical world view thus giving an augmented vision. This property is achieved by controlling the intensity of output image by using a beamsplitter in the viewer optics. The convergent tri-color beams emanating from the scanner pass (partially) through a beamsplitter. The beam splitter is a 2mm thick parallel plate beam splitter which on one side is coated such that 40% of any light striking it is reflected and 60% is transmitted while on the other side beamsplitter contain anti-rejection coating to avoid double reflections. On first pass, 60% of the energy in the scan is transmitted through the beam splitter to a concave spherical mirror. The
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mirror also collimates the individual ray bundles which are focused at the focal point of the mirror. The ray bundles now reflect off the mirror onto the beam splitter and finally reflected to viewer's eye by passing through exit pupil as shown in Figure 5.

VRD with Eye Tracking

A viewer wearing a head-mounted virtual retinal display typically moves their eye as they look at images being displayed. In VRD with eye tracking, the direction the viewer looks is tracked with the display. Prior to tracking, a map of the viewer's eye is generated by the display. The map includes `landmarks` such as the viewer's optic nerve, fovea (see Section :2), and blood vessels. Thereafter, the relative position of one or more landmarks is used to track the viewing direction usually it is fovea whose relative position is measured to track the eye position. To
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generate a map, and thereafter to monitor viewing direction, light reflected of the viewer's retina is monitored. The light reflected from the viewer's eye travels back into exit pupil and by passing through pupil expander it reaches to beam splitter within the retinal display device. The beam splitter reflects the incoming light from the pupil expander towards a photodectere which samples the incoming light. Thus, the beam splitter passes light which is incident in one direction (e.g., light from the light source) and detects light which is incident in the opposite direction (e.g., reflected light from the viewer's eye). The content of the reflected light will vary depending upon the image light projected and the features of the viewer's retina. During the initial mapping stage, the content of the image light(light scanner scans) can be fixed at a constant intensity, so that the content of the reflected light is related only to the feature's (i.e. landmarks) of the retina. The changing content of the reflected light is sampled at a sampling rate and stored. The scanner position at the time of each sample is used to correlate a position of the sample. The relative position and the content represent a map of the viewer's retina, According to another specification of this system, a specific feature of the retina (e.g., fovea position) is monitored over time to track where the viewer is looking (i.e., the viewer's center of vision). The landmarks in the retina which correspond to such feature will cause the reflected light to exhibit an expected pattern. The relative position of such pattern in the reflected light will vary according to the viewing direction. By identifying the pattern and correlating the relative orientation of the pattern to the orientation of the corresponding feature in the map, the change in viewing direction is determined. In various applications, such position indication is used as a pointing device or is used to determine image content. For example, as a pointing device the fovea position indicates pointer position. A blink of the eye for example, corresponds to actuating a pointing device (e.g., "clicking" a computer mouse.) Also the map of the viewer's retina can be stored and used for purposes of viewer identification. In a security application for example, a viewer is denied access to information or denied operation of a computer or display when the viewer's retina does not correlate to a previously stored map of an authorized user. Here the whole process of tracking viewer's eye in VRD has been summarized in a systematic manner.

Tracking a Viewer's Eye Position

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In order to track viewer' eye the following methodology is adopted. 1. The map of viewer retina is obtained by asking from the user to see in a particular direction generally straight direction is taken, and than by capturing the reflected light from the viewer's retina. The scan light used for obtaining map of retina can be non-modulated or modulated. In modulated case some post processing is performed to obtain the map of retina. 2. Once the map of retina is obtained, than it is used to track viewer's eye position. The location of the viewer's fovea within a map at a given point in time is taken as the direction in which the viewer is looking. The amount the fovea has moved left of center and upward of center determines the degree that the viewer is looking right of center and upward, respectively. Precise angles can be achieved for the viewing angle based upon the location of the fovea. In an other technique rather than monitoring relative change in orientation of the fovea, the location of the fovea within the current scanning pattern is identified. The processor (which takes input from the photodetector) uses the position of the fovea to identify a group of pixels that the viewer is focusing on. The identification of the group of pixels determines a viewing orientation within the current field of view. By correlating the viewing orientation to workspace or external environment large number of applications can be realized [8].

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Safety Analyses
In order to make the VRD a safer industrial product its safety analysis was performed [5] Maximum Permissible Exposures (MPE) was calculated for the VRD in both normal viewing and possible failure modes. The MPE is a level of exposure or irradiance of laser light which can be thought of as the theoretical border between safe and potentially harmful. The MPE power levels were compared to the measured power that enters the eye while viewing images with the VRD. For calculation of MPE different laser sources were assume and after that most conservative values were chosen. The authors done the analysis for color VGA system with 640 X 480 configuration, by considering the following parameters of systems , sweep time for each pixel was considered 40 nsec and system scanning frequency was considered equal to 60Hz. An 8 hour exposure was assumed based on a working day for a user who would be wearing and viewing the display continuously. Authors used ANSI Z136.1 standard for there worst case analysis for laser exposure in visible range with in the range of 400-550 nanometer wavelength while for calculation of range 500 to 700 nanometer the calculation done for the 400550nanometer was multiplied with an correction factor CB having value greater than one. The MPE values calculated for different sources are summarized in Table:1 all values listed are in watt. The output power of the traditional VRD is in range of 100-300 n watt.

Source Used MPE for Pulsed Lasers MPE for Continuous Wave Sources MPE for extended Sources
Tab. 1-MPE for Different Sources

MPE in watts 0.13watt 0.16watt 1.05 103watt

As it can be clearly seen that all MPE's values calculated for different laser sources are well above the range of power values calculated for the VRD light source , which makes VRD a safe device to use. The most worst case considered is that when both the horizontal and vertical

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beam controllers got failed, than one spot of the retina will be exposed to the whole output of the laser system. For this case only laser having the continuous wave output was considered. The power calculated for this case is 0.98103watts. The MPE's values shown in the Table :2 are calculated when viewer's retina is exposed to laser with continuous wave for 2.78 hours after the scanner assembly failure. Once again the power value calculated for VRD is well above those (MPE's) values which are presented in the Table:2 as a function of wavelength.

Wavelength(nm) 400-550 600 640 670 700

MPE microwatts 0.385 2.17 8.62 24.29 68.47

Tab. 2-MPE Values as a Function of Wavelength in case of Scanner Failure

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Advantages of the VRD

The VRD is able to provide several major advantages over current display technologies : color range, resolution, luminance and viewing modes, contrast ratio, power consumption and cost [1].

1. Color Range:
The range of hues that can be produced by the VRD is significantly greater as compared to those which can be produced by CRTs and FPDs (Flat Panel Displays).CRTs and miniature FPDs are able to reflect only a portion of the total palette of colors visible to the human eye, and are limited in the degree of saturation they can achieve. Because red (645 nm), green (513 nm) and blue(457 nm) light sources used in VRD technology emit highly saturated, pure color, the VRD can produce a range of possible colors and color fidelity superior to other available electronic display technologies.

2. Resolution:
The current VRD can produces 800X600 SVGA resolution (monochrome) images [7].Its resolution is limited only by diffraction and optical aberrations in the light source. It is not constrained as in the case of FPDs by how physically small one can make an individual pixel element.

3. Luminance and Viewing Modes:

The amount of energy incident at the corneal surface can be varied in the range of 60nW to 300 nW. This flexibility in the range of intensity allows to produce images in varying environments as compared to conventional electronic displays which do not emit (or transmit) substantial amounts of light energy. As a result, they are primarily used in controlled lighting environments, and it is difficult to see them under bright ambient light conditions such as exist outdoors. Generally, the VRD can be used in two viewing modes, occluded or augmented. In the occluded mode, the outside environment is not visible and only images generated by the VRD can be seen. In the augmented mode, the VRD can overlay an image on the real world allowing both to be seen at the same time. In the augmented mode, the VRD luminance can be controlled to allow the user to see an image even under outside ambient light conditions.
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4. Contrast Ratio:
The brightness of the VRD can be increased to very high levels or decreased to minimal levels as already explained. As a result, its contrast ratio is inherently high and far greater than that of standard _at panel displays or even conventional CRT monitors. As a result of this greater range, the VRD's contrast ratio is inherently higher.

5. Power Consumption:
Conventional displays do not efficiently convert electrical energy into light energy. Both backlit FPDs and CRTs draw substantial power to produce radiant energy. As a result because most of their energy input is wasted their brightness is relatively low. In addition, they are among the biggest battery consumers in portable devices that use them. VRD technology, by contrast, conveys virtually all of its generated light onto the retina, allowing a brighter display with minimum power requirements (based on laser emitting diode).

6. Cost:
As already described the basic design of the VRD consists of subsystems that are very simple in their design and largely make use of established optical and electronic technologies, so the VRD devices will be able to mass-produced at very low cost as compared to the other available display technologies of today.

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Well as we all know, nothing in this world is perfect. And especially the new technologies. Even though the Virtual Retinal Display Technology is already used in military and medical industries (since those are the only ones that can afford to use it), it is still at a stage of development future: and is still very costly. Already, there aspects of the VRD technology that can be somewhat disadvantageous in the

1. Since the image is sent directly to the retina, there is no protection against radiation because the distance between the source and the eye is very short. This may cause some damage to the retina and later result into blindness. 2. As much as it can assist to the military industry, it will still be a technology used by humans against humanity and therefore may do more harm then good.
3. The image sent into the eye will surely interfere with the reality objects and can be

distract the user when his attention is most needed. Unfortunately the VRD technology is still not known and used enough to evaluate more accurately all the possible disadvantages, so instead let's try to concentrate on the positive side of it.

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The range of applications which can be addressed by the VRD are of diversified nature. Among a large number of application few has been described in this part. 1. Head Mounted Displays (HMDs): Currently the retinal based displays are manufactured by the MicroVision and marketed with the name of NOMAD. Two types of HMDs are being made one for being used in the industrial applications while other is manufactured for the usage of army. The two types have their own specifications and requirements but both HMDs have some common characteristics which are listed in Table:3 Resolution Field of View SVGA 800 x 600 pixels 23 degrees x 17.25 degrees (equivalent to 17inch monitor at arms length)

Display Color Monochrome red Grey Levels 32 shades of gray Refresh Rate 60 Hz User Controls 4-button keypad Tab. 3 -Some Common Characteristics of VRD based HMDs Both systems utilize the same see-through display and control functionality. The system will project the images in a "see through" fashion the user will still be able to see the background scene, but has the option of focusing in on the presented information as in Figure :6 . 2. Interactive VRD: Currently the research work is aimed at designing and developing of an interactive VRD for army pilots. As mentioned VRD is the only display technology that has sufficient luminance to be used as an augmented display over the pilot's real world view in bright sunlight. The goal is to

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develop the augmented image as interactive display(Figure :7). Goals of the IVRD project are as follows : -Superimpose high luminance color images over the pilot's real world view, -Measure instantaneous location of the augmented image in the real world view, -Measure gaze direction, eye, and possibly hand position within the augmented image, -Display sensor data from 360 degrees within a limited field-or-view, augmented image, -Allow the viewer to prompt t he display for more detailed information.

Fig. 6 - Augmented image over the real world view

3. Medical applications
VRD as Low Vision Aid: Possibly the most exciting result has been the identification of the VRD as a potential low vision aid [3]. Initially it was noticed that people working on the development of the VRD,
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who had myopia (nearsightedness) did not need their glasses to see the images being produced. This initial discovery was followed by the analysis of improvements brought by using VRD by persons having low vision (Low vision is defined as ). Usually these individuals are only correctable to 20/100 to 20/200(higher digit shows greater visual acuity). But with the VRD and their correction removed, researchers were able to improve their vision to approximately 20/60. Two prototypes (Figure:8) have already been developed to used VRD as wearable low vision aid. In both the prototypes VGA camera is used to get input from the environment, after that some machine vision algorithms are applied to identify potential obstacles and than nal images with enhanced information are scanned on viewer's eye and in this way the person is warned about different obstacles present in his environment. There are also other large number of potential applications of VRD which includes image guided surgery, head mounted display for the vehicles, consumer products etc.

Fig. 7- Interactive VRD and its components

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Fig. 8- Prototype of Wearable Low Vision Aid

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COMPARISON WITH OTHER SYSTEMS The below table give comparison with other systems. In that VRD is most advantage than any other systems.
Display Source CRT LCD Resolution Luminance (Pixel Size) 25 Microns 12 Microns Thin Film ElectroLuminescent LED Array Monolithic LED VRD 12 Microns 300 Microns 3 Microns 0.5 Micron Poor - 100ft Poor - 5000ft Unlimited Brightness Good 13,000ft Poor- backlit dependent Poor- 400ft Only with sequential With 1/2 monochrome resolution 2-color only with 1/2 resolution With 1/3 resolution No Full color with no loss in resolution Low Low Low Low Low Low Low High (with cabling) Low Color Weight Power Consumption Medium High with backlight High

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While development work to date has been very encouraging a number of issues must be addressed before a complete line of VRD based products is commercially available. These issues include continued development related to the mechanical resonant scanner, exit pupil size, methods of generating color in small packages, increased resolution, and safety testing. Two issues are currently being addressed relating to the design of the mechanical resonant scanner. The first is the fact that the scanned beam moves in a sinusoidal fashion. The beam moves faster at the center of the scan than near the edges. If uncorrected, this will lead to pixels that are wider in the center of the display and compressed near the edges and to a display that is brighter at the edges than in the center. The simplest method of correction is to vary the pixel display time 7 and the pixel intensity as the beam scans across the image. For example, in a 60 Hertz VGA resolution display the line display time is 31.75 microseconds and each pixel is active for 39.7 nanoseconds (800 effective pixel periods of which 640, or 80 percent, of the pixels are visible). In the VRD the display would be blanked for 3.17 microseconds at each end of the scan to remove the highly non-linear portion of the sweep. Pixel durations would then range from 95.8 nanoseconds at the screen edges to 30.0 nanoseconds at the center of the image. Intensities would also be varied such that the intensity is increased where the beam is moving faster and decreased where the beam is moving slower. The second mechanical resonant scanner issue is the variation of the phase delay between scanner drive signal and actual scanner position with temperature variations. As the temperature change the resonant frequency changes slightly. This change in resonant frequency will change both the scanner deflection and the phase delay. The resonant frequency changes are small over anticipated operating temperatures and the change in deflection will result in only a few percent change in image field-ofview. Moreover, this change will be slow and is not noticeable in most applications. The phase change is, however, much greater and will result in a significant alteration of the image. To compensate for these changes a feedback mechanism is being developed that measures the phase difference and compensates for it.

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The system exit pupil is still quite small. While this small exit pupil has allowed some individuals with lens and cornea damage to see images clearly, it is not desirable in most applications. Work is being performed to solve this problem in a number of ways. The best solution is to enlarge the exit pupil. As described above, a larger the scanning aperture will result in a larger exit pupil. Thus it is important to have the largest possible scanning aperture. Methods of duplicating the exit pupil are also being investigated. Finally, methods of tracking the eyes movement and moving the exit pupil such that it lines up with the eye's pupil are being analyzed. As described above, a full color VRD has been demonstrated. The disadvantages of this system are its size and cost. The blue and green sources are not small or inexpensive. Unfortunately neither blue nor green laser diodes are currently available 8 as they are in the red. As laser alternatives, HITL staffs are working on two frequency doubling methods, waveguide doubling and fiber doubling. The use of non lasing sources, particularly light emitting diodes, is also being researched. In fact, when the system is operated with the red laser diode below the lasing threshold an image is visible. Moving the system to higher resolutions should present no significant problems. The current mechanical resonant scanner design should scale up to allow for a 1000 line display. Measured performance of the optical system will allow better than 2 arc minute resolution. If more than 1000 lines are desired a system consisting of the mechanical resonant scanner and a single light source will not be adequate. Other solutions being researched involve the use of very fast electro-optical scanning methods. A second issue investigated is the minimum time the light source must illuminate a rod or cone for an image to be perceived. As the spot will be moving faster for higher resolutions this could present a limiting factor. With the current VGA resolution system and an earlier acousto-optical scanner based system displaying 1024 lines of data, this does not present a problem. Images are clearly visible and the viewer perceives high intensity resolution. Flicker frequencies have also been measured and

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match closely those found with other displays. As the eye's response to light occurs in under 200 femtoseconds 9, we believe this issue will not be a problem. As with any display device the issue of user safety must be addressed. The use of coherent light sources in the VRD has highlighted this issue. Because of the low power levels required in the VRD we believe it does not present a safety hazard 5. Measured power levels into the eye typically are iunder 300 nanowatts. During the second half of 1995 we will begin an extensive series of safety tests on the VRD. These tests will be performed under the supervision of Dr. Eric Viirre, an ophthalmologist with a joint appointment to the HITL and the University of Washington School of Ophthalmology.

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The VRD offers solutions to many of the problems that have plagued personal display devices. It will allow a display that is small, low cost, low power, high resolution, bright enough to operate in an outdoor environment, and functional in either an inclusive or see-through mode. Development work at the HITL has centered around making the VRD technology commercially viable. The creation of the mechanical resonant scanner solves one of the toughest problem of commercializing the VRD, developing a low cost, high frequency, large deflection angle horizontal scanning device. Based on this scanner a full color, VGA resolution VRD prototype has been demonstrated. Future development will include refinement of the mechanical resonant scanner, enlarging the system's exit pupil, utilizing small blue and green color sources, increasing system resolution, and system safety testing. The VRD appears to be an ideal display for a large number of commercial, industrial, consumer, and military applications. Micro Vision, Inc. will be matching product needs to VRD performance parameters.

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[1] Homer Pryor, Thomas A.Funress III and Erik Viirre,The virtual Retinal Display : A New Display Technology Using Scanned Laser Light,In Proceedings of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 42nd Annual Meeting,1570-1574,1998. [2] Richard S.Johnston, Stephen R.Willey, Development of a Commercial Virtual Retinal Display, Proceedings of Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays and Symbology Design,2-13,1995. [3] Lin, S-K. V., Seibel, E.J. and Furness, T.A.III, Virtual Retinal Display as a Wearable Low Vision Aid,International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction,15(2),245-263,2003. [4] Tidwell.M,A Virtual Retinal Display for Augmenting Ambient Visual Environments,Master's Thesis University of Washington,1995. [5] Erik Viiree, Richard Johnston, Homer Pryor et.al,Laser Safety Analysis of a Retinal Scanning Display System , Journal of Laser Applications ,9,253-260,1997. [6] Virtual Retinal Display (VRD)Technology, WebPage [7] Head-up Display,http ://www.microvision.com/hud.html [8] US patent EP1053499, Virtual retinal display with eye tracking

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