Computational See-Through Near-Eye Displays Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Maimone, Andrew
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Computer Science
  • See-through near-eye displays with the form factor and field of view of eyeglasses are a natural choice for augmented reality systems: the non-encumbering size enables casual and extended use and large field of view enables general-purpose spatially registered applications. However, designing displays with these attributes is currently an open problem. Support for enhanced realism through mutual occlusion and the focal depth cues is also not found in eyeglasses-like displays. This dissertation provides a new strategy for eyeglasses-like displays that follows the principles of computational displays, devices that rely on software as a fundamental part of image formation. Such devices allow more hardware simplicity and flexibility, showing greater promise of meeting form factor and field of view goals while enhancing realism. This computational approach is realized in two novel and complementary see-through near-eye display designs. The first subtractive approach filters omnidirectional light through a set of optimized patterns displayed on a stack of spatial light modulators, reproducing a light field corresponding to in-focus imagery. The design is thin and scales to wide fields of view; see-through is achieved with transparent components placed directly in front of the eye. Preliminary support for focal cues and environment occlusion is also demonstrated. The second additive approach uses structured point light illumination to form an image with a minimal set of rays. Each of an array of defocused point light sources is modulated by a region of a spatial light modulator, essentially encoding an image in the focal blur. See-through is also achieved with transparent components and thin form factors and wide fields of view (>= 100 degrees) are demonstrated. The designs are examined in theoretical terms, in simulation, and through prototype hardware with public demonstrations. This analysis shows that the proposed computational near-eye display designs offer a significantly different set of trade-offs than conventional optical designs. Several challenges remain to make the designs practical, most notably addressing diffraction limits.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Bishop, Gary
  • Fuchs, Henry
  • Luebke, David
  • Lanman, Douglas
  • Frahm, Jan-Michael
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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