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NVIDIA : Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Near-Eye Microlens Array Displays", for Approval (USPTO 20170269358)

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10/05/2017 | 07:22pm CEST

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Luebke, David Patrick (Charlottesville, VA); Lanman, Douglas (Sunnyvale, CA); Fox, Thomas F. (Palo Alto, CA); Slavenburg, Gerrit (Fremont, CA), filed on December 19, 2012, was made available online on September 28, 2017.

The patent's assignee is Nvidia Corporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Near-eye displays (NEDs) include head-mounted displays (HMDs) that may project images directly into a viewer's eyes. Such displays may overcome the limited screen size afforded by other mobile display form factors by synthesizing virtual large-format display surfaces, or may be used for virtual or augmented reality applications.

"Near-eye displays can be divided into two broad categories: immersive displays and see-through displays. The former may be employed in virtual reality (VR) environments to completely encompass a user's field of view with synthetically-rendered imagery. The latter may be employed in augmented reality (AR) applications, where text, other synthetic annotations, or images may be overlaid in a user's view of the physical environment. In terms of display technology, AR applications require semi-transparent displays (e.g., achieved by optical or electro-optical approaches), such that the physical world may be viewed simultaneously with the near-eye display.

"Near-eye displays have proven difficult to construct due to the fact that the unaided human eye cannot accommodate (focus) on objects placed within close distances, for example, the distance between the lenses of reading glasses to a user's eye when the user is wearing the glasses. As a result, NED systems have conventionally required complex and bulky optical elements to allow the viewer to comfortably accommodate on the near-eye display, which would otherwise be out of focus, and the physical environment.

"A conventional solution is to place a beam-splitter (e.g., a partially-silvered mirror) directly in front of the viewer's eye. This allows a direct view of the physical scene, albeit with reduced brightness. In addition, a display (e.g., an LCD panel) is placed on the secondary optical path. Introducing a lens between the beam-splitter and the display has the effect of synthesizing a semi-transparent display located within the physical environment. In practice, multiple optical elements are required to minimize aberrations and achieve a wide field of view for such a solution, leading to bulky and expensive eyewear that has prohibited widespread consumer adoption.

"A conventional solution for VR applications is to place a magnifier in front of a microdisplay. For example, a single lens placed over a small LCD panel so that the viewer can both accommodate or focus on the display, despite the close distance, as well as magnify the display, so that it appears to be much larger and at a greater distance."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In embodiments of the invention, an apparatus may include a display comprising a plurality of pixels and a computer system coupled with the display and operable to instruct the display to display images. The apparatus may further include a microlens array located adjacent to the display and comprising a plurality of microlenses, wherein the microlens array is operable to produce a light field by altering light emitted by the display to simulate an object that is in focus to an observer while the display and the microlens array are located within a near-eye range of the observer.

"Various embodiments of the invention may include an apparatus comprising a display operable to produce an image. The apparatus may further include a microlens array located adjacent to the display, wherein the microlens array together with the display is operable to produce a light field simulating a 3D object that is recognizable to an observer while the display and the microlens array are located within a near-eye range of the observer.

"Some embodiments of the invention may include a method comprising determining a pre-filtered image to be displayed, wherein the pre-filtered image corresponds to a target image. The method may further include displaying the pre-filtered image on a display and producing a near-eye light field after the pre-filtered image travels through a microlens array adjacent to the display, wherein the near-eye light field is operable to simulate a light field corresponding to the target image.

"The following detailed description together with the accompanying drawings will provide a better understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Luebke, David Patrick; Lanman, Douglas; Fox, Thomas F.; Slavenburg, Gerrit. Near-Eye Microlens Array Displays. Filed December 19, 2012 and posted September 28, 2017. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220170269358%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20170269358&RS=DN/20170269358

Keywords for this news article include: Nvidia Corporation.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2017, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC, source Government & Education Newsletters

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