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IQE

6 June 2014

QD Laser and NanoQuine develop wearable see-through display laser eyewear based on retina imaging

QD Laser Inc of Kanagawa, Japan and the Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics (NanoQuine) at the University of Tokyo have announced the development of wearable see-through display Laser Eyewear (LEW) based on laser retina imaging optics, marking what is claimed to be a significant milestone for daily-use smart glasses with a natural fit. The proof-of-concept model is being exhibited publicly at the 2014 Open House of the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo (6-7 June).

A variety of wearable smart devices such as head-mounted displays and smart glasses are now being developed worldwide. However, almost all these devices adopt easy-to-attach liquid crystal displays (LCDs), with some having been commercialized.

Proposed early in the 1990s, laser retina imaging exhibits high brightness, high color reproducibility and wide viewing angle to provide an image at any position and with any size (since the laser scanning system has a very wide horizontal viewing angle of 60° or more). Also, since the image is projected onto the retina after converging the light beam in the entrance pupil of the observer, so-called Maxwell view optics enables focus-free viewing (i.e. picture clarity is independent of the individual visual power, whether short-sighted or far-sighted). In spite of these advantages, laser retina imaging displays have yet to be commercialized, primarily due to the design difficulty.

The Laser Eyewear is based on the original laser imaging optical system, where red/blueRGB (i.e. red, blue, and green) semiconductor laser light is reflected and scanned on a MEMS mirror to project an image through the pupil onto the human retina. This also achieves completely see-through characteristics (indispensable for augmented reality). The principle of the laser retina imaging optics allows smaller size (162mm wide for the proof-of-concept model, one of the smallest in head-mounted displays and smart glasses), lower power consumption, and lower cost than any other existing devices based on LCDs, it is claimed, opening up the path to consumer devices (i.e. daily-use smart glasses with a natural fit). QD Laser’s technology helps to provide eyewear comparable to daily-use glasses in terms of size, weight and fit by miniaturizing individual functional elements such as the lasers, MEMS, and optics. 

The system’s laser power belongs to Class 1 (with safety under all conditions of normal use), based on the safety standard of JIS/IEC. QD Laser is working on establishing the industrial standard of safety with an interlock system for the eyewear set.

QD Laser is to continue further development of the Laser Eyewear (LEW) in terms of size and power consumption. It plans to release wired LEW as a support tool in the workplace by the end of 2015, and to release consumer-oriented wireless LEW as daily-use information devices by the end of 2017.

Tags: QD Laser

Visit: www.qdlaser.com

Visit: www.nanoquine.iis.u-tokyo.ac.jp/index-e.html

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