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A Seminar Report On Virtual retinal display (VRD)

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement of the B. Tech degree for



(2011 - 2012)

Submitted To
Mr. Hemant Kumar Gupta HOD (ECE)

Submitted By
Alok kumar Shukla 08ECIEC005 (ECE)















What is Virtual retinal display

A virtual retinal display (VRD), also known as a retinal scan display (RSD) or retinal projector (RP), not to be confused with a "Retina Display" as marketed by Apple, is a display technology that draws a raster display (like a television) directly onto the retina of the eye. The user sees what appears to be a conventional display floating in space in front of them. (However, the portion of the visual area where imagery appears must still intersect with optical elements of the display system. It is not possible to display an image over a solid angle from a point source unless the projection system can bypass the lenses within the eye.

The Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITL) of the Washington Technology Center at the University of Washington is developing a novel display device in which a coherent light source is utilized to scan an image directly on the retina of the viewer's eye. A prototype of this device, the Virtual Retinal Display (VRD), has been developed and is being perfected under a four-year project. The work is funded by Micro Vision, Inc., Seattle, which holds an exclusive license to manufacture and distribute the VRD. Using the VRD technology, the long-range project goal is to build a display with the following characteristics: * Very small and lightweight, mountable on eye glasses * High resolution, approaching that of human vision * Large field of view, greater than 100 degrees per eye * Full color with superior color resolution as compared to standard displays * Capable of fully inclusive or see-through display modes * Brightness sufficient for outdoor use * Very low power consumption * True stereo display with depth modulation

The basic system

In a conventional display a real image is produced. The real image is either viewed directly or, as in the case with most head-mounted displays, projected through an optical system and the resulting virtual image is viewed. The projection moves the virtual image to a distance that allows the eye to focus comfortably. No real image is ever produced with the VRD. Rather, an image is formed directly on the retina of the user's eye. A block diagram of the VRD is shown in Figure. To create an image with the VRD a photon source (or three sources in the case of a color display) is used to generate a coherent beam of light. The use of a coherent source (such as a laser diode) allows the system to draw a diffraction limited spot on the retina. The light beam is intensity modulated to match the intensity of the image being rendered. The modulation can be accomplished after the beam is generated. If the source has enough modulation bandwidth, as in the case of a laser diode, the source can be modulated directly. The resulting modulated beam is then scanned to place each image point, or pixel, at the proper position on the retina. A variety of scan patterns are possible. The scanner could be used in a calligraphic (vector) mode, in which the lines that form the image are drawn directly, or in a raster mode, much like standard computer monitors or television. Use of the raster method of image scanning and allows the VRD to be driven by standard video sources. To draw the raster, a horizontal scanner moves the beam to draw a row of pixels. The vertical scanner then moves the beam to the next line where another row of pixels is drawn. After scanning, the optical beam must be properly projected into the eye. The goal is for the exit pupil of the VRD to be coplanar with the entrance pupil of the eye. The lens and cornea of the eye will then focus the beam on the retina, forming a spot. The position on the retina where the eye focuses the spot is

determined by the angle at which light enters the eye. This angle is determined by the scanners and is continually varying in a raster pattern. The brightness of the focused spot is determined by the intensity modulation of the light beam. The intensity modulated moving spot, focused through the eye, draws an image on the retina. The eye's persistence allows the image to appear continuous and stable. Finally, the drive electronics synchronize the scanners and intensity modulator with the incoming video signal in such a manner that a stable image is formed.

VRD Features

The following sections detail some of the advantages of using the VRD as a personal display. Size and Weight The VRD does not require an intermediate image on a screen as do systems using LCD or CRT technology. The only required components are the photon source (preferably one that is directly modulatable), the scanners, and the optical projection system. Small photon sources such as a laser diode can be used. As described below the scanning can be accomplished with a small mechanical resonant device developed in the HITL. The projection optics could be incorporated as the front, reflecting, surface of a pair of glasses in a head mount configuration or as a simple lens in a hand held configuration. HITL engineers have experimented with single piece Fresnel lenses with encouraging results. The small number of components and lack of an intermediate screen will yield a system that can be comfortably head mounted or hand held. Resolution Resolution of the current generation of head mounted and hand held display devices is limited by the physical parameters associated with manufacturing the LCDs or CRTs used to create the image. No such limit exists in the VRD. The limiting factors in the VRD are diffraction and optical aberrations from the optical components of the system, limits in scanning frequency, and the modulation bandwidth of the photon source. A photon source such as a laser diode has a sufficient modulation bandwidth to handle displays with well over a million pixels. If greater resolution is required multiple sources can be used. Currently developed scanners will allow displays over 1000 lines allowing for the HDTV resolution systems. If higher resolutions are desired multiple

sources, each striking the scanning surface at a different angle, can be used. If care is taken in the optical system design then the primary cause of diffraction will be the primary scanning aperture. The aperture with the current scanner, developed in the HITL, is a mirror. The scan angle from the mirror must be magnified for large field of view systems yielding a smaller effective aperture. The current mirror size of 3 millimeters will limit resolution in a 50 degree field of view system to better than two arc minutes. Further refinement in scanner design should improve this figure. Field of View The field of view of the VRD is controlled by the scan angle of the primary scanner and the power of the optical system. Initial inclusive systems with greater than 60 degree horizontal fields of view have been demonstrated. Inclusive systems with 100 degree fields of view are feasible. See through systems will have somewhat smaller fields of view. Current see through systems with over 40 degree horizontal fields of view have been demonstrated. Color and Intensity Resolution Color will be generated in a VRD by using three photon sources, a red, a green, and a blue. The three colors will be combined such that they overlap in space. This will yield a single spot color pixel, as compared to the traditional method of closely spacing a triad, improving spatial resolution. The intensity seen by the viewer of the VRD is directly related to the intensity emitted by the photon source. Intensity of a photon source such as a laser diode is controlled by the current driving the device. Proper control of the current will allow greater than ten bits of intensity resolution per color. Brightness

Brightness may be the biggest advantage of the VRD concept. The current generation of personal displays do not perform well in high illumination environments. This can cause significant problems when the system is to be used by a soldier outdoors or by a doctor in a well lit operating room. The common solution is to block out as much ambient light as possible. Unfortunately, this does not work well when a see through mode is required. The VRD creates an image by scanning a light source directly on the retina. The perceived brightness is only limited by the power of the light source. Through experimentation it has been determined that a bright image can be created with under one microwatt of laser light. Laser diodes in the several milliwatt range are common. As a result, systems created with laser diode sources will operate at low laser output levels or with significant beam attenuation. Power Consumption The VRD delivers light to the retina efficiently. The exit pupil of the system can be made relatively small allowing most of the generated light to enter the eye. In addition, the scanning is done with a resonant device which is operating with a high figure of merit, or Q, and is also very efficient. The result is a system that needs very little power to operate. A True Stereoscopic Display The traditional head-mounted display used for creating three dimensional views projects different images into each of the viewer's eyes. Each image is created from a slightly different view point creating a stereo pair. This method allows one important depth cue to be used, but also creates a conflict. The human uses many different cues to perceive depth. In addition to stereo vision, accommodation is an important element in judging depth. Accommodation refers to the distance at which the eye is focused to see a clear image. The virtual imaging optics used in current

head-mounted displays place the image at a comfortable, and fixed, focal distance. As the image originates from a flat screen, everything in the virtual image, in terms of accommodation, is located at the same focal distance. Therefore, while the stereo cues tell the viewer an object is positioned at one distance, the accommodation cue indicates it is positioned at a different distance. With the VRD it is theoretically (this is currently in the development stage) possible to generate a more natural three dimensional image. The VRD has an individual wavefront generated for each pixel. It is possible to vary the curvature of the wavefronts. Note that it is the wavefront curvature which determines the focus depth. This variation of the image focus distance on a pixel by pixel basis, combined with the projection of stereo images, allows for the creation of a more natural three-dimensional environment. Inclusive and See Through Systems have been produced that operate in both an inclusive and a see through mode. The see through mode is generally a more difficult system to build as most displays are not bright enough to work in a see through mode when used in a medium to high illumination environment where the luminance can reach ten thousand candela per meter squared. As discussed above, this is not a problem with the VRD

Comparison to LCDs and other display devices

Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) currently are the primary active display devices for the presentation of entertainment and information. An image that is generated electronically is viewed with the optical system of the eye. The image you see is subject not only to the quality of the optical system of the eye, but also to the quality of the display and the environment in which the display is located. With a VRD, defects in the eye's optical system, such as damaged cornea and lens and reduced retinal sensitivity could be bypassed, as well as the problems of the display environment, such as ambient brightness, angle-of-view and display brightness. Additionally, the seen image could be augmented with other information and brightness of the system doesn't affect the image formed on the retina Although the VRD is an output device, the technology lends itself to augmentation with eye tracking or eyegaze systems for input. Eye tracking is currently used in advanced still and video cameras for focusing on the object you wish to record. This approach produces several advantages over conventional display devices:[2]

Potentially very small and lightweight, glasses mountable Large field and angle of view, greater than 120 degrees High resolution, approaching that of human vision Full color with better potential color resolution than conventional displays Brightness and contrast ratio sufficient for outdoor use True stereo 3D display with depth modulation Bypasses many of the eye's optical and retinal defects

The eye
A brief review of how the eye forms an image will aid in understanding the VRD.

A point source emits waves of light which radiate in ever-expanding circles about the point. The pupil of an eye, looking at the source, will see a small portion of the wavefront. The curvature of the wavefront as it enters the pupil is determined by the distance of the eye from the source. As the source moves farther away, less curvature is exhibited by the wavefronts. It is the wavefront curvature which determines where the eye must focus in order to create a sharp image. If the eye is an infinite distance from the source, plane waves enter the pupil. The lens of the eye images the plane waves to a spot on the retina. The spot size is limited by the aberrations in the lens of the eye and by the diffraction of the light through the pupil. It is the angle at which the plane wave enters the eye that determines where on the retina the spot is formed. Two points focus to different spots on the retina because the wavefronts from the points are intersecting the pupil at different angles. Neglecting the aberrations in the lens of the eye, one can determine the limit of the eye's resolution based on diffraction through the pupil. Using Rayleigh's criteria the minimum angular resolution is computed as follows:[2]

Where D = diameter of the pupil lambda = wavelength of light

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 televisionbased 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.[4] 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

Application industries for the VRD range from medicine to manufacturing, from communications to traditional virtual reality helmet mounted displays

(HMD's). The VRD provides high luminance and high resolution and can also be configured as see-through or inclusive (non-see-through), head mounted or hand held, making it adaptable to a number of applications. Some specific applications in the aforementioned industries are described in subsequent sections. Radiology o One examination performed by radiologists is the fluoroscopic examination. During a fluoroscopic examination, the radiologist observes the patient with real-time video x-rays. The radiologist must continually adjust the patient and the examination table until the patient is in a desired position. When the patient is in a desired position, the radiologist takes a film copy of the x-ray image. The positioning process can be difficult and cumbersome because the radiologist must visually keep track of a patient, a video monitor, and an examination table simultaneously. Because the VRD can operate in a see-through mode at high luminance levels, it is an ideal display to replace the bulky video monitor in a fluoroscopic examining room. The radiologist could see through the x-ray display and see the patient as well. Other features such as a display luminance control or on/off switch could easily be included for this application.

Surgery o Surgery to remove a cancerous growth requires knowledge of the growth's location. Computed tomographic or magnetic resonant images can locate a tumor inside a patient. A high luminance see-

through display, such as the VRD, in conjunction with head tracking, could indicate visually where a tumor lies in the body cavity. In the case that a tumor lies hidden behind, say, an organ, the tumor location and a depth indicator could be visually laid over the obstructing organ. An application in surgery for any display would clearly require accurate and reliable head tracking.

Manufacturing o The same characteristics that make the VRD suitable for medical applications, high luminance and high resolution, make it also very suitable for a manufacturing environment. In similar fashion to a surgery, a factory worker can use a high luminance display, in conjunction with head tracking, to obtain visual information on part or placement locations. Drawings and blueprints could also be more easily brought to a factory floor if done electronically to a Virtual Retinal Display (with the option of see-through mode). Operator interface terminals on factory floors relay information about machines and processes to workers and engineers. Thermocouple temperatures, alarms, and valve positions are just a few examples of the kind of information displayed on operator interface terminals. Eyeglass type see-through Virtual Retinal Displays could replace operator interface terminals. A high luminance eyeglass display would make the factory workers and engineers more mobile on the factory floor as they could be independent of the interface terminal location.

Communications o The compact and light weight nature of the mechanical resonant scanner (MRS) make an MRS based VRD an excellent display for personal communication. A hand held monochrome VRD could serve as a personal video pager or as a video FAX device. The display could potentially couple to a telephone. The combination of telephone services and video capability would constitute a full service personal communication device.

Virtual Reality o The traditional helmet display is an integral part of virtual reality today. The VRD will be adapted for this application. It can then be used for educational and architectural applications in virtual reality as well as long distance virtual conference communications. Indeed it can be utilized in all applications of virtual reality. The theoretical limits of the display, which are essentially the limits of the eye, make it a promising technology for the future in virtual reality HMD's.

It is believed that VRD based Laser or LED displays are not harmful to the human eye, as they are of a far lower intensity than those that are deemed hazardous to vision, the beam is spread over a greater surface area, and does not rest on a single point for an extended period of time. To ensure that VRD device is safe, rigorous safety standards from the American National Standards Institute and the International Electrotechnical Commission were applied to the development of such systems. Optical damage caused by lasers comes from its tendency to concentrate its power in a very narrow area. This problem is overcome in VRD systems as they are scanned, constantly shifting from point to point with the beams focus. If the laser stops scanning, permanent damage to the eye will result because the beam stays focused in one spot. This can be prevented by an emergency safety system to detect the situation and shut it off.

LED enhancements
Although the power required is low, light must be collected and focused down in a point. This is an inherent property with lasers, but not so simple with a LED. Advances in LED technology will be needed to further concentrate the light coming from these devices.

Military utilities VRDs have been investigated for military use as an alternative display system for Helmet Mounted Displays. However no VRD-based system has yet reached operational use and current military HMD development now appears focused on other technologies such as holographic waveguide optics. Medical utilities A system similar to car repair procedures can be used by doctors for complex operations. While a surgeon is operating, he or she can keep track of vital patient data, such as blood pressure or heart rate, on a VRD. For procedures such as the placement of a catheter stent, overlaid images prepared from previously obtained magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans assist in surgical navigation. Cameras In the mass-market of digital cameras, scanned-beam displays provide better image quality at lower power and cost than liquid-crystal-on-silicon and organic LED displays

Manufacturers and commercial uses

Microvision from the United States commercialized a VRD system named Nomad in 2001. Brother Industries from Japan exhibited VRD system named AirScouter in September 2010. Brother Industries announced the commercialisation of the Airscouter in August 2011.

The ongoing VRD development project at the HITL has proven the viability of building displays which scan images directly on the viewer's retina. Such displays offer performance improvements when compared to currently available head-mounted displays in the following areas: * Size and weight * Cost

* Resolution * Field-of-view * Brightness * Power consumption To date, three prototype systems have been constructed. The current prototype uses a proprietary mechanical resonant scanner to generate VGA resolution color images. The system's simple optical design yields a device that is small and easy to adjust when compared to earlier prototypes utilizing acousto-optic scanners for horizontal deflection. Many challenges remain before the VRD reaches it's full potential. Chief among these is the development of the low cost blue and green light sources needed for a full color display. Finally, the VRD is applicable to a wide variety of applications in a number of fields including medicine, manufacturing, communications, and virtual reality.

Websites Books

E. Hecht and A. Zajac, Optics, 1979, Addison-Wesley, pp. 353-354. R. H. Webb, G. W. Hughes,, and O. Pomerantzeff, "Flying spot TV ophthalmoscope", Applied Optics, Vol. 19, pp. 2991, 1980. J. Kollin, "A Retinal Display for Virtual-Environment Applications", Proceedings of the Society for Information Display, Vol. 24, pp. 827, 1993. en Diode Lasers", Physics Today, June 1994, pp. 26.