Oculus Patent | Sensor system based on stacked sensor layers

Patent: Sensor system based on stacked sensor layers

Publication Number: 20190035154

Publication Date: 2019-01-31

Applicants: Oculus

Abstract

A sensor assembly for determining one or more features of a local area is presented herein. The sensor assembly includes a plurality of stacked sensor layers. A first sensor layer of the plurality of stacked sensor layers located on top of the sensor assembly includes an array of pixels. The top sensor layer can be configured to capture one or more images of light reflected from one or more objects in the local area. The sensor assembly further includes one or more sensor layers located beneath the top sensor layer. The one or more sensor layers can be configured to process data related to the captured one or more images. A plurality of sensor assemblies can be integrated into an artificial reality system, e.g., a head-mounted display.

Background

Artificial reality systems such as head-mounted display (HMD) systems employ complex sensor devices (cameras) for capturing features of objects in a surrounding area in order to provide satisfactory user experience. A limited number of conventional sensor devices can be implemented in a HMD system and utilized for, e.g., eye tracking, hand tracking, body tracking, scanning of a surrounding area with a wide field-of-view, etc. Most of the time, the conventional sensor devices capture a large amount of information from the surrounding area. Due to processing a large amount of data, the conventional sensor devices can be easily saturated negatively affecting processing speed. Furthermore, the conventional sensor devices employed in artificial reality systems dissipate a large amount of power while having a prohibitively large latency due to performing computationally intensive operations.

Summary

A sensor assembly for determining one or more features of a local area surrounding some or all of the sensor assembly is presented herein. The sensor assembly includes a plurality of stacked sensor layers, i.e., sensor layers stacked on top of each other. A first sensor layer of the plurality of stacked sensor layers located on top of the sensor assembly can be implemented as a photodetector layer and includes an array of pixels. The top sensor layer can be configured to capture one or more images of light reflected from one or more objects in the local area. The sensor assembly further includes one or more sensor layers located beneath the photodetector layer. The one or more sensor layers can be configured to process data related to the captured one or more images for determining the one or more features of the local area, e.g., depth information for the one or more objects, an image classifier, etc.

[0005] A head-mounted display (HMD) can further integrate a plurality of sensor assemblies. The HMD displays content to a user wearing the HMD. The HMD may be part of an artificial reality system. The HMD further includes an electronic display, at least one illumination source and an optical assembly. The electronic display is configured to emit image light. The at least one illumination source is configured to illuminate the local area with light captured by at least one sensor assembly of the plurality of sensor assemblies. The optical assembly is configured to direct the image light to an eye box of the HMD corresponding to a location of a user’s eye. The image light may comprise depth information for the local area determined by the at least one sensor assembly based in part on the processed data related to the captured one or more images.

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