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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Compact volumetric see-through near-eye display Park, Hongbae Sam


Near-eye displays (NEDs) are devices placed in the vicinity of a person’s visual field to facilitate the implementation of augmented reality (AR), by conveying visual information such as virtual images. Because NEDs are usually put on the head and present virtual imagery to the user, many considerations with regards to the areas such as optics, optometry, human-computer interaction, and ergonomics need to be factored in when designing an NED. There are a few design considerations that are more challenging in nature, namely the minimization of the NED form-factor, and the maximization of the quality of the virtual images being presented to the user as well as the see-through visibility, as they tend to trail the advancement in optics and display technologies. In this dissertation, we present two see-through near-eye display (NED) optical designs and a new microlens array configuration for light field displays, as potential solutions to the specific challenges in the designing of NEDs with the following objectives in mind: Objective 1: Miniaturization of the visor-based NED form-factor. Objective 2: Improvement of the see-through visibility in direct-view NEDs. Objective 3: The design of a visually transparent light source, for further improvement of the see-through visibility in direct-view NEDs. Objective 4: Image resolution improvement in light field NEDs (LFNEDs). The presentation of how we achieve the objectives in each corresponding section takes place in the following order: first, we begin by building the theoretical foundation on the imaging principles of each optical system. The theoretical works are then validated through simulations run on ray tracing software. Next, we fabricate our own micro-optical elements such as concave micromirror arrays and transparent light guides using microfabrication and polymer replication techniques. Lastly, we prototype physical devices incorporating the micro-optical elements that we fabricate in-house and demonstrate that the results we obtain from the prototype confirm the simulation results.

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