Google Patent | Efficient thin curved eyepiece for see-through head wearable display

Patent: Efficient thin curved eyepiece for see-through head wearable display

Publication Number: 10162180

Publication Date: 2018-12-25

Applicants: Google

Abstract

An eyepiece for a head wearable display includes a curved lightguide component, an input coupler, and an output coupler. The curved lightguide component guides display light received at an input region peripherally located from a viewing region and emits the display light along an eye-ward direction in the viewing region. The curved lightguide component includes an eye-ward facing surface that is concave and a world facing surface that is convex. The input coupler is disposed at the input region to couple the display light into the curved lightguide component. The output coupler is disposed at the viewing region to redirect the display light towards the eye-ward direction for output from the curved lightguide component. The output coupler is partially transmissive to ambient light incident through the world facing surface. The display light is guided between the input coupler and the output coupler entirely by total internal reflection.

Background

A head mounted display (“HMD”) or head wearable display is a display device worn on or about the head. HMDs usually incorporate some sort of near-to-eye optical system to create a magnified virtual image placed a few meters in front of the user. Single eye displays are referred to as monocular HMDs while dual eye displays are referred to as binocular HMDs. Some HMDs display only a computer generated image (“CGI”), while other types of HMDs are capable of superimposing CGI over a real-world view. This latter type of HMD typically includes some form of see-through eyepiece and can serve as the hardware platform for realizing augmented reality. With augmented reality the viewer’s image of the world is augmented with an overlaying CGI, also referred to as a heads-up display (“HUD”).

HMDs have numerous practical and leisure applications. Aerospace applications permit a pilot to see vital flight control information without taking their eye off the flight path. Public safety applications include tactical displays of maps and thermal imaging. Other application fields include video games, transportation, and telecommunications. There is certain to be new found practical and leisure applications as the technology evolves; however, many of these applications are limited due to the cost, size, weight, field of view, and efficiency of conventional optical systems used to implemented existing HMDs.

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