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The Virtual Retinal Display

With the VRD a new technique of Head Mounted Displays evolve that don’t produce a real image on a physical screen any more, but project a virtual image directly onto the retina. They promise on the long run, low costs, light weight and higher resolutions which might make convenient reading possible for the first time in the history of HMDs.

“The VRD was invented at the University of Washington in the Human Interface Technology Lab (HIT) in 1991. The development began in November 1993. The aim was to produce a full color, wide field-of-view, high resolution, high brightness, low cost virtual display. Microvision Inc. has the exclusive license to commercialize the VRD technology. This technology has many potential applications, from head-mounted displays (HMDs) for military/aerospace applications to medical society.

The VRD projects a modulated beam of light (from an electronic source) directly onto the retina of the eye producing a rasterized image. The viewer has the illusion of seeing the source image as if he/she stands two feet away in front of a 14-inch monitor. In reality, the image is on the retina of its eye and not on a screen. The quality of the image he/she sees is excellent with stereo view, full color, wide field of view, no flickering characteristics. Using the VRD technology it is possible to build a display with the following characteristics:

* Very small and lightweight, glasses mountable * Large field of view, greater than 120 degrees * High resolution, approaching that of human vision * Full color with better color resolution than standard displays * Brightness sufficient for outdoor use * Very low power consumption * True stereo display with depth modulation * Capable of fully inclusive or see through display modes” (from the NPS Article)

Starter Links:
Microvision|Product video|NPS Article

  Marc, 01.25.06

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