Magic Leap Patent | Presenting Virtual Objects Based On Head Movements In Augmented Or Virtual Reality Systems

Patent: Presenting Virtual Objects Based On Head Movements In Augmented Or Virtual Reality Systems

Publication Number: 10553028

Publication Date: 20200204

Applicants: Magic Leap

Abstract

One embodiment is directed to a user display device comprising a housing frame mountable on the head of the user, a lens mountable on the housing frame and a projection sub system coupled to the housing frame to determine a location of appearance of a display object in a field of view of the user based at least in part on at least one of a detection of a head movement of the user and a prediction of a head movement of the user, and to project the display object to the user based on the determined location of appearance of the display object.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to systems and methods configured to facilitate interactive virtual or augmented reality environments for one or more users.

BACKGROUND

A number of display systems can benefit from information regarding the head pose of a viewer or user (i.e., the orientation and/or location of user’s head).

For instance, head-worn displays (or helmet-mounted displays, or smart glasses) are at least loosely coupled to a user’s head, and thus move when the user’s head moves. If the user’s head motions are detected by the display system, the data being displayed can be updated to take the change in head pose into account.

As an example, if a user wearing a head-worn display views a virtual representation of a 3D object on the display and walks around the area where the 3D object appears, that 3D object can be re-rendered for each viewpoint, giving the user the perception that he or she is walking around an object that occupies real space. If the head-worn display is used to present multiple objects with a virtual space (for instance, a rich virtual world), measurements of head pose can be used to re-render the scene to match the user’s dynamically changing head location and orientation and provide an increased sense of immersion in the virtual space.

Especially for display systems that fill a substantial portion of the user’s visual field with virtual elements, it is critical that the accuracy of head-tracking is high and that the overall system latency is very low from the first detection of head motion to the updating of the light that is delivered by the display to the user’s visual system. If the latency is high, the system can create a mismatch between the user’s vestibular and visual sensory systems, and generate motion sickness or simulator sickness.

Some head-worn displays enable the concurrent viewing of real and virtual elements–an approach often described as augmented reality or mixed reality. In one such configuration, often referred to as a “video see-through” display, a camera captures elements of a real scene, a computing system superimposes virtual elements onto the captured real scene, and a non-transparent display presents the composite image to the eyes. Another configuration is often referred to as an “optical see-through” display, in which the user can see through transparent (or semi-transparent) elements in the display system to view directly the light from real objects in the environment. The transparent element, often referred to as a “combiner”, superimposes light from the display over the user’s view of the real world.

In both video and optical see-through displays, detection of head pose can enable the display system to render virtual objects such that they appear to occupy a space in the real world. As the user’s head moves around in the real world, the virtual objects are re-rendered as a function of head pose, such that the virtual objects appear to remain stable relative to the real world. In the case of an optical see-through display, the user’s view of the real world has essentially a zero latency while his or her view of the virtual objects has a latency that depends on the head-tracking rate, processing time, rendering time, and display frame rate. If the system latency is high, the apparent location of virtual objects will appear unstable during rapid head motions.

In addition to head-worn display systems, other display systems can benefit from accurate and low latency head pose detection. These include head-tracked display systems in which the display is not worn on the user’s body, but is, e.g., mounted on a wall or other surface. The head-tracked display acts like a window onto a scene, and as a user moves his head relative the “window” the scene is re-rendered to match the user’s changing viewpoint. Other systems include a head-worn projection system, in which a head-worn display projects light onto the real world.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the present invention are directed to devices, systems and methods for facilitating virtual reality and/or augmented reality interaction for one or more users.

One embodiment is directed to a method of operation in a virtual image system or an augmented reality system, the method comprising, for each of at least some of a plurality of frames being presented to an end user, determining a location of appearance of a virtual object in a field of view of the end user relative to an end user frame of reference, and adjusting a presentation of at least one subsequent frame based at least in part on the determined location of appearance of the virtual object in the field of view of the end user. The virtual object may be newly introduced in the field of view of the end user temporally relative to previous frames presented to the end user. The newly introduced virtual object may be determined to likely attract an attention of the end user. The virtual object may be in a new position in the frame relative to a position in at least one previous frame. Or, the virtual object may be in a new position as presented to the end user relative to a previous position of the virtual object as previously presented to the end user.

The method may further comprise selecting the virtual object based on input indicative of an attention of the end user to the virtual object. The input indicative of the attention of the end user to the virtual object may be based at least in part on an appearance of the virtual object in a new position as presented to the end user relative to a position of the virtual object as previously presented to the end user. Or, the input indicative of the attention of the end user to the virtual object may be based at least in part on how quickly a position of the virtual object as presented to the end user changes relative to the position of the virtual object as previously presented to the end user.

The adjusting of the presentation of the at least one subsequent frame may include presenting the at least one subsequent frame with a center of the at least one subsequent frame shifted toward the determined location of appearance of the virtual object in the field of view of the end user. Or, the adjusting of the presentation of the at least one subsequent frame may include presenting the at least one subsequent frame with a center of the at least one subsequent frame shifted to the determined location of appearance of the virtual object in the field of view of the end user.

The method may further comprise predicting an occurrence of a head movement of the end user based at least in part on the determined location of appearance of the virtual object in the field of view of the end user. The method may further comprise estimating at least one value indicative of an estimated speed of the predicted head movement of the end user, determining at least one value that at least partially compensates for the estimated speed of the predicted head movement of the end user, and rendering the at least one subsequent frame based at least in part on the determined value.

The method may further comprise estimating at least one change in the speed in the predicted head movement of the end user, wherein the at least one change in the speed occurs between a start of the predicted head movement and an end of the predicted head movement, and wherein estimating the at least one value indicative of the estimated speed of the predicted head movement includes estimating the at least one value indicative of the estimated speed that at least partially accommodates for the estimated changes in the speed in the predicted head movement of the end user.

The estimating of the at least one change in the speed in the predicted head movement of the end user may include estimating the at least one change between a first defined time after the start of the predicted head movement and a second defined time before the end of the predicted head movement.

The method may further comprise estimating at least one value indicative of an estimated acceleration of the predicted head movement of the end user, determining at least one value that at least partially compensates for the estimated acceleration of the predicted head movement of the end user, and rendering the at least one subsequent frame based at least in part on the determined value.

The method may further comprise receiving information indicative of an identity of the end user, and retrieving at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user based on the received information indicative of the identity of the end user, wherein the user specific historical attribute is indicative of at least one of a previous head movement speed for the end user, a previous head movement acceleration for the end user, and a previous eye movement to head movement relationship for the end user.

The virtual object may be at least one of a virtual text object, a virtual numeric object, a virtual alphanumeric object, a virtual tag object, a virtual field object, a virtual chart object, a virtual map object, a virtual instrumentation object or a virtual visual representation of a physical object.

Another embodiment is directed to a method of operation in an augmented reality system, the method comprising receiving information indicative of an identity of the end user, retrieving at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user based at least in part on the received information indicative of the identity of the end user, and providing frames to the end user based at least in part on the retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user. The received information may be image information indicative of an image of at least a portion of an eye of the end user.

The retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user may be at least one attribute that provides an indication of at least one head movement attribute for the end user, wherein the head movement attribute is indicative of at least one previous head movement of the end user. Or the retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user may be at least one attribute that provides an indication of at least one previous head movement speed for at least one previous head movement for the end user. Or, the retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user may be at least one attribute that provides an indication of variation in a head movement speed across at least part of a range of at least one previous head movement by the end user. Or, the retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user may be at least one attribute that provides an indication of at least one previous head movement acceleration for at least one previous head movement by the end user. Or, the retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user may be at least one attribute that provides an indication of a relationship between at least one previous head movement and at least one previous eye movement by the end user. Or, the retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user may be at least one attribute that provides an indication of a ratio between at least one previous head movement and at least one previous eye movement by the end user.

The method may further comprise predicting at least an end point of a head movement of the end user, and providing frames to the end user based at least in part on the retrieved at least one user specific historical attribute for the end user includes rendering at least one subsequent frame to at least one image buffer, the at least one subsequent frame shifted toward the predicted end point of the head movement.

The method may, further comprise rendering a plurality of subsequent frames that shift toward the predicted end point of the head movement in at least partial accommodation of at least one head movement attribute for the end user, the head movement attribute indicative of at least one previous head movement of the end user.

The head movement attribute indicative of at least one previous head movement of the end user may be a historical head movement speed, a historical head movement acceleration for the end user or a historical ratio between head movement and eye movement for the end user.

The method may further comprise predicting an occurrence of a head movement of the end user based at least in part on a location of appearance of the virtual object in the field of view of the end user. The location of appearance of the virtual object may be determined in the same manner described above.

Another embodiment is directed to detecting an indication that a spacing as presented to an end user between some pixels in a frame will differ from a spacing between other pixels in the frame, adjusting a first set of pixels based on the detected indication, and providing at least a portion of at least one subsequent frame with the adjusted first set of pixels to at least partially compensate for the difference in spacing as presented to the end user. The pixel characteristics (e.g., size, intensity, etc.) may be perceptible to the end user.

The method may further comprise selecting a first set of pixels of the frame based on a direction of the detected head movement, wherein the direction of the first set of pixels is the same as the direction of the detected head movement, and increasing a size of the first set of pixels of the at least one subsequent frame. The method may further comprise selecting a first set of pixels of the frame based on a direction of the detected head movement wherein the direction of the first set of pixels is the same as the direction of the detected head movement, and increasing an intensity of the first set of pixels of the at least one subsequent frame in response to the detected head movement.

The method may further comprise selecting a first set of pixels of the frame based on a direction of the detected head movement wherein the direction of the first set of pixels is the opposite as the direction of the detected head movement, and decreasing a size of the first set of pixels of the at least one subsequent frame in response to the detected head movement.

The method may further comprise selecting a first set of pixels of the frame based on a direction of the detected head movement wherein the direction of the first set of pixels is the opposite as the direction of the detected head movement, and decreasing an intensity of the first set of pixels of the at least one subsequent frame in response to the detected head movement.

Another embodiment id directed to a method of operation in a virtual image presentation system, the method comprising rendering a first complete frame to an image buffer, wherein the first complete frame includes pixel information for sequential presentation of pixels to form an image of a virtual object, starting a presentation of the first complete frame, and dynamically interrupting the presenting of the first complete frame before completion of the presentation of the first complete frame by a presentation of an update to the first complete frame in which a portion of the pixel information has changed from the first complete frame.

Another embodiment is directed to a method of operation in a virtual image presentation system, the method comprising rendering a first complete frame having a first field and a second field to an image buffer, wherein the first field includes at least a first spiral scan line and the second field includes at least a second spiral scan line, the second spiral scan line interlaced with at least the first spiral scan line, reading out of the frame buffer which stores the first complete frame, and dynamically interrupting the reading out of the first complete frame before completion of the reading of the first complete frame by a reading out of an update to the first complete frame in which a portion of the pixel information has changed from the first complete frame. The dynamic interruption of the reading out may be based on a detected head movement of an end user, wherein the detected head movement exceeds a nominal head movement value.

Another embodiment is directed to a method of operation in a virtual image presentation system, the method comprising rendering a first complete frame having a first field and a second field to an image buffer, wherein the first field includes at least a first Lissajous scan line and the second field includes at least a second Lissajous scan line, the second Lissajous scan line interlaced with at least the first Lissajous scan line, reading out of the frame buffer which stores the first complete frame, and dynamically interrupting, based on a detected head movement of an end user exceeding a nominal head movement value, the reading out of the first complete frame before completion of the reading of the first complete frame by a reading out of an update to the first complete frame in which a portion of the pixel information has changed from the first complete frame. The method may further comprise phase shifting the Lissajous scan lines to interlace the Lissajous scan lines.

Another embodiment is directed to a method of operation in a virtual image presentation system, the method comprising for each of a plurality of frames, determining a respective resolution for each of at least two portions of the respective frame in response to a detected head movement of an end user, and presenting the virtual objects based on the determined respective resolutions of the at least two portions of the respective frame. The portion of the respective frame may be at least one of a field of the frame, a line of the frame, a pixel of the frame. The method may further comprise adjusting a characteristic of a drive signal between presenting a first portion of a the frame and a second portion of the frame to create a variable resolution in the image of the virtual object. The characteristic of the drive signal may be at least one of an amplitude of the drive signal and a slope of the drive signal.

The method may further comprise assessing a point of attention in at least a first image for the end user, based on at least one of a processed eye tracking data, a determined location of appearance of a virtual object in a field of view of the end user relative to an end user frame of reference, a determined location of appearance of the virtual object when newly introduced in the field of view of the end user, and a determined location of appearance of the virtual object in a new position in an image relative to a position of the virtual object in at least one previous image.

The method may further comprise increasing the resolution in at least one subsequent image in a portion of the at least one subsequent image that is at least proximate to the assessed point of attention relative to other portions of the at least one subsequent image. The method may further comprise decreasing the resolution in at least one subsequent image in a portion of the at least one subsequent image that is distal to the assessed point of attention relative to other portions of the at least one subsequent image.

Another embodiment is directed to a method of operation in a virtual image presentation system, the method comprising displaying at least one virtual object to an end user, and temporarily blanking a portion of the display of the at least one virtual object when at least one of a detected head movement exceeds a nominal head movement value and a predicted head movement is predicted to exceed a head movement value. The method may further comprise processing head tracking data supplied via at least one transducer to determine the at least one of the detected head movement and the predicted head movement, wherein the head tracking data indicative of at least an orientation of a head of the end user.

Another embodiment is directed to a projector apparatus to project at least virtual images in an augmented reality system, the projector apparatus comprising a projector element, a support that supports the projector element with the projector element moveable in at least one axis of freedom, at least one actuator coupled to selectively move the projector element, and a control subsystem communicatively coupled to control the actuator such that the projector element is moved in response to at least one of a detection of a head movement of an end user that exceeds a nominal head movement value and a prediction of a head movement of the end user that is predicted to exceed the nominal head movement value. The projector element may further comprise at least a first optical fiber, the first optical fiber having a back end and a front end, the back end coupled to receive images, the front end positioned to transmit images therefrom.

The support element may comprise a piezoelectric collar that receives at least the first optical fiber proximate but spaced rear-wardly from the front end of the first optical fiber such that a portion of the first optical fiber proximate the front end thereof extends from the piezoelectric collar and is free to oscillate with a defined resonance frequency.

The control subsystem may be communicatively coupled to receive head tracking data supplied via at least one transducer, the head tracking data indicative of at least an orientation of a head of the end user. The control subsystem, for each of at least some of a plurality of images presented to the end user, determines a location of appearance of a virtual object in a field of view of the end user relative to an end user frame of reference, assesses whether the determined location requires the end user to turn a head of the end user, and predicts the occurrence of the head movement based on the assessment.

Another embodiment is directed to a method of operation in a virtual image presentation system, the method comprising over-rendering a frame for a defined field of view such that a pixel information for a set of pixels of the frame exceeds the maximum area of display at the maximum resolution, determining a portion of the frame to present to the end user based on at least one of a detected head movement and a predicted head movement, and selectively reading out only the determined portion of the frame.

Another embodiment is directed to a user display device, comprising a housing frame mountable on a head of a user, a lens mountable on the housing frame, and a projection subsystem coupled to the housing frame to determine a location of appearance of a display object in a field of view of the user based at least in part on at least one of a detection of a head movement of the user and a prediction of a head movement of the user, and to project the display object to the user based on the determined location of appearance of the display object. The location of appearance of the display object may be moved in response to the at least one of the detection of the head movement of the user or prediction of the head movement of the user that exceeds or it predicted to exceed a nominal head movement value. The prediction of the head movement of the user may be based on a prediction of a user’s shift in focus or on a set historical attributes of the user.

The user display device may further comprise a first pair of cameras mountable on the housing frame to track a movement of the user’s eyes and estimate a depth of focus of the user’s eyes based on the tracked eye movements. The projection subsystem may project the display object based on the estimated depth of focus.

The user display device may further comprise a second pair of cameras mountable on the housing frame to capture a field of view image as seen by the user’s eyes, wherein the field of view image contains at least one physical object. The projection sub system may project the display object in a manner such that the display object and the physical object captured through the second pair of cameras are intermixed and appear together in the same frame. The location of appearance may be based at least in part on the physical object. The display object and the physical object may have a predetermined relationship. The captured field of view image may be used to gather information regarding movements of the head of the user, wherein the information regarding movements of the head of the user comprises a center of attention of the user, an orientation of the head of the user, a direction of the head of the user, a speed of movement of the head of the user, an acceleration of the head of the user and a distance of the head of the user in relation to a local environment of the user.

The lens may comprise at least one transparent surface to selectively allow a transmission light such that the user is able to view a local environment. The projection subsystem may project the display object in a manner such that the user views both the display object and the local environment as viewed through the transparent surface of the lens.

The user display device may further comprise at least one intertial transducer to capture a set of intertial measurements indicative of movement of the head of the user, wherein the set of intertial measurements comprises a speed of movement of the head of the user, an acceleration of movement of the head of the user, a direction of movement of the head of the user, a position of the head of the user and an orientation of the head of the user.

The user display device may further comprise at least one light source to illuminate at least one of the head of the user and a local environment of the user.

The projection sub system may adjust at least one of a perceived size, an intensity and a resolution of a set of pixels associated with the display object to compensate for the at least one of the detected head movement and the predicted head movement. The display object may be one of a virtual object and an augmented virtual object.

Additional and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention are described in the detail description, figures and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an example of using predictive head tracking for rendering frames to an end user.

FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a technique that predicts head movement based on characteristics of virtual objects presented to the end user.

FIG. 3 illustrates an example where a center of the frame is shifted.

FIG. 4 illustrates an example of a technique that predicts head movement based on a set of historical attributes of the end user.

FIG. 5 illustrates another example of the technique that predicts head movement based on historical attributes.

FIG. 6** illustrates an example of retrieving various historical attributes of the user**

FIG. 7 illustrates an example of rendering a subsequent frame based on a predicted end point.

FIG. 8 illustrates another example of rendering the subsequent frame.

FIG. 9 illustrates an example of predicting an occurrence of head movement.

FIG. 10 illustrates an example of adjusting pixels based on head movement.

FIG. 11 illustrates an example of rendering frames with adjusted pixels.

FIG. 12 illustrates an example of increasing a size and/or intensity of pixels.

FIG. 13 illustrates an example of dynamically interrupting a presentation of a frame.

FIG. 14 illustrates an example of presenting a portion of an updated frame.

FIG. 15 illustrates an example of reading an update frame.

FIG. 16 illustrates an example of phase shifting.

FIG. 17 illustrates an example of causing variable resolution within an image.

FIG. 18 illustrates an example of adjusting an amplitude of a drive signal.

FIG. 19 illustrates an example of adjusting a resolution in a subsequent image based on the end user’s point of attention.

FIG. 20 illustrates another example of adjusting the resolution.

FIG. 21 illustrates an example of determining a location of appearance of a virtual object.

FIG. 22 illustrates an example of blanking a portion of displaying a virtual object.

FIG. 23 illustrates an example of predicting head movement based on attractiveness of virtual object.

FIG. 24 illustrates an example of strobing.

FIG. 25 illustrates an example of selectively activating an actuator to move a projector element.

FIG. 26 illustrates an example of selectively reading out portions of a frame.

FIG. 27 illustrates an example of selectively reading out portions based on a determined location of a virtual object.

FIG. 28 illustrates another example of selectively reading out portions.

FIG. 29 illustrates an example of determining a portion of an image to present to the end user.

FIG. 30 illustrates an example of dynamically addressing a portion of an over-rendered frame.

FIG. 31 illustrates an example of a frame having pixel information.

FIG. 32 illustrates an example of a raster scan pattern.

FIG. 33 illustrates an example of a spiral scan pattern.

FIG. 34 illustrates an example of a Lissajous scan pattern.

FIG. 35 illustrates an example of a multi-field spiral scan pattern.

FIG. 36A illustrates an example of a distortion of a raster scan pattern during rapid lateral movement of the end user’s head.

FIG. 36B illustrates an example of a distortion of a raster scan pattern during vertical upward movement of the end user’s head.

FIG. 37A illustrates an example of a distortion of a spiral scan line during rapid lateral movement of the end user’s head to the left.

FIG. 37B illustrates an example of a distortion of a spiral scan line during very rapid lateral movement of the user’s head to the left.

FIG. 38 illustrates an overview of the virtual image generation system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The description that follows relates to display systems and methods to be used in virtual reality and/or augmented reality systems. However, it is to be understood that the while the invention lends itself well to applications in virtual reality, the invention, in its broadest aspects, may not be so limited.

Referring first to FIG. 38, FIG. 38 shows a virtual image generation system 3800 which may operate to provide virtual images to an end user 3802, according to one illustrated embodiment.

The virtual image generation system 3800 may be operated as an augmented reality system, providing images of virtual objects intermixed with physical objects in a field of view of the end user. There are two fundamental approaches when operating the virtual image generation system 3800 as an augmented reality system. A first approach employs one or more imagers (e.g., cameras) to capture images of the ambient environment. The virtual image generation system 3800 may inter-mix the virtual images into the data representing the images of the ambient environment. A second approach employs one or more at least partially transparent surfaces through which the ambient environment can be seen and on to which the virtual image generation system 3800 produces images of virtual objects. As will be apparent to those of skill in the art, at least some of the aspects described herein are particularly suited to augmented reality systems.

The virtual image generation system 3800 may be operated as a virtual reality system, providing images of virtual objects in a virtual environment.

The virtual image generation system 3800, and the various techniques taught herein, may be employed in applications other than augmented reality and virtual reality systems. For example, various techniques may be applied to any projection or display system. For example, the various techniques described herein may be applied to pico projectors where movement may be movement of an end user’s hand rather than head movement. Thus, while often described herein in terms of an augmented reality system, the teachings should not be limited to such systems or such uses.

At least for augmented reality applications, it may be desirable to spatially position various virtual objects relative to respective physical objects in a field of view of an end user 3802. Virtual objects, also referred to herein as virtual tags or tag or call outs, may take any of a large variety of forms, basically any variety of data, information, concept or logical construct capable of being represented as an image. Non-limiting examples of virtual objects may include: a virtual text object, a virtual numeric object, a virtual alphanumeric object, a virtual tag object, a virtual field object, a virtual chart object, a virtual map object, a virtual instrumentation object or a virtual visual representation of a physical object.

Head tracking accuracy and latency have been problems for virtual reality and augmented reality systems. Tracking inaccuracies and latency produce inconsistency between the end user’s visual system and vestibular system. Such may lead to queasiness and discomfort. Such is particularly problematic in display systems that fill a large portion of the end user’s field of view. Approaches to addressing such may include increasing frame rate or effective frame rate, for instance via strobing or flashing or via other techniques. As described herein, predictive head tracking may be employed to address such, for instance by reducing latency. Predictive head tracking may rely on any of a large variety of factors or approaches, including historical data or attributes for a specific end user. Also as described herein, blanking of display or presentation may be effectively employed, for instance blanking during rapid head movements.

At least for augmented reality applications, placement of virtual objects in spatial relation to physical objects (e.g., presented to appear spatially proximate a physical object in two- or three-dimensions) may be a nontrivial problem. For example, head movement may significantly complicated placement of virtual objects in a view of an ambient environment. Such is true whether the view is captured as an image of the ambient environment and then projected or displayed to the end user 3802, or whether the end user 3802 perceives the view of the ambient environment directly. For instance, head movement will like cause a field of view of the end user 3802 to change, which will likely require an update to where various virtual objects are displayed in the field of view of the end user 3802. Additionally, head movements may occur within a large variety of ranges and speeds. Head movement speed may vary not only between different head movements, but within or across the range of a single head movement. For instance, head movement speed may initially increase (e.g., linearly or not) from a starting point, and may decrease as a ending point is reached, obtaining a maximum speed somewhere between the starting and ending points of the head movement. Rapid head movements may even exceed the ability of the particular display or projection technology to render images that appear uniform and/or as smooth motion to the end user 3802.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 38, the virtual image generation system 3800 includes a projection subsystem 3804 operable to project images on a partially transparent display surface 3806 which is positioned in the end user’s 3802 field of view between the eyes 3808 of the end user 3802 and an ambient environment. The virtual image generation system 3800 may be worn or mounted on a head 3810 of the end user 3802, for example incorporated into a pair of glasses or a visor.

In the illustrated embodiment, the projection subsystem 3804 includes one or more optical fibers 3812 (e.g., single mode optical fiber) which have a back or distal end 3812a into which light is received and a front or proximate end 3812b from which light is provided to the partially transparent display surface 38063806 or projected directly into the eyes 3808 of the end user 3802. The projection subsystem 3804 may also include one or more light sources 3815 that produces the light (e.g., emits light of different colors in defined patterns), and communicatively couples the light to the back or distal end 3812a of the one or more optical fibers 3812. The light source(s) 3815 may take any of a large variety of forms, for instance a set of RGB lasers (e.g., laser diodes capable of outputting red, green and blue light) operable to respectively produce red, green and blue coherent collimated light according to a defined pixel patterns specified in respective frames of pixel information or data. Laser light provides high color saturation and are highly energy efficient.

While FIG. 38 shows a single optical fiber 3812, some implementations may employ two or more optical fibers 3812, breaking the light up into multiple channels. In such implementations, the optical fibers 3812 may have staggered tips or beveled and polished tips to bend the light, reducing optical spacing between the channels. The optical fibers 3812 may be conveniently packaged as a ribbon cable. Suitable optics may produce a conjugate of the respective images produced by each of the channels.

The one or more optical fibers 3812 may be supported by a yoke 3814 with a portion of the front or proximate end 3812b extending therefrom. The yoke 3814 may be operable to set the front or proximate end 3812b in oscillatory motion. For example, the yoke 3814 may comprise a tube of a piezoelectric transducer 3814a (only one shown in FIG. 38). A number of electrodes 3813 (e.g., four illustrated, only one called out) are radially arranged about the piezoelectric transducer 3814a. Applying control signals, e.g., via frame buffer 3828, to respective electrodes 3813 associated with the piezoelectric transducer 3814a can cause the front or proximate end 3812b of the optical fiber(s) 3812 to oscillate vibrate in a first resonance mode. A size of vibrations or amount of travel off center is controllable via the applied drive signals to obtain any of a variety of at least bi-axial patterns. Patterns may, for instance, include a raster scan pattern, spiral or volute scan pattern, or a Lissajous or FIG. 8 scan pattern.

FIG. 31 shows a frame 3100 of pixel information or data that specifies pixel information or data to present an image, for example, an image of one or more virtual objects, according to one illustrated embodiment. The frame 3100 is schematically illustrated with a cell 3100a-3100n (only two called out, collectively 3102) each pixel. Sequences of cells arranged in rows or lines 3104a, 31004b-3100n (three called out, collectively 3104), illustrated as extending horizontally across the drawing sheet in FIG. 31. The frame 3100 includes a plurality of lines 3104. FIG. 31 employs ellipses to represent missing information, such as cells or lines that have been omitted for clarity of illustration.

Each cell 3102 of the frame 3100 may specify values (collectively 3106) for each of a plurality of colors for the respective pixel to which the cell corresponds and/or intensities. For instance, the frame 3100 may specify one or more values for red 3106a, one or more values for green 3106b and one or more values for blue 3106c for each pixel. The values 3106 may be specified as binary representations for each of the colors, for instance a respective 4 bit number for each color. Each cell 3102 of the frame 3100 may additionally include an amplitude or radial value #P06d that specifies an amplitude or radial dimension for each pixel, for example where the frame 3100 may be used with a spiral scan line pattern based system or with a Lissajous scan line pattern based system.

The frame 3100 may include one or more fields, collectively 3110. The frame 3100 may consist of a single field. Alternatively, the frame 3100 may comprise two, or even more fields 3110a-3110b. The frame 3100 illustrated in FIG. 31 shows two fields 3110a-3110b. The pixel information for a complete first field 3110a of the frame 3100 may be specified before the pixel information for the complete second field 3110b, for example occurring before the pixel information for the second field 3110b in an array, an ordered list or other data structure (e.g., record, linked list). A third or even a fourth field may follow the second field 3110b, assuming a presentation system is configured to handle more than two fields 3110a-3110b.

FIG. 32 schematically represents a raster scan pattern 3200. In the raster scan pattern 3200, pixels 3202 (only one called out) are sequentially presented. The raster scan pattern 3200 typically presents pixels from left to right (indicated by arrows 3204a, 3204b, then from top to bottom (indicated by arrow 3206). Thus, the presentation may start at the upper right corner and traverse left across a first line 3208a until the end of the line is reached. The raster scan pattern 3200 typically then starts from the left in a next line down. The presentation may be temporarily blacked out or blanked which returning from the end of one line to the start of the next line. This process repeats line-by-line until the bottom line 3208n is completed, for example at the bottom right most pixel. With the frame 3100 being complete, a new frame is started, again returning the right of the top most line of the next frame. Again, the presentation may be blanked while returning from the bottom left to the top right to present the next frame.

Many implementations of raster scanning employ what is term as an interlaced scan pattern. In interlaced raster scan patterns, lines from the first and the second fields 3210a, 3210b are interlaced. For example, when presenting lines of the first field 3210a, the pixel information for the first field 3210a may be used for the odd numbered lines only, while the pixel information for the second field 3210b may be used for the even numbered lines only. Thus, all of the lines of the first field 3210a of the frame 3100 (FIG. 31) are typically presented before the lines of the second field 3210b. The first field 3210a may be presented using the pixel information of the first field 3210a to sequentially present line 1, line 3, line 5, etc. Then the second field 3210b of the frame 3100 (FIG. 31) may be presented following the first field 3210a, by using the pixel information of the second field 3210b to sequentially present line 2, line 4, line 6, etc.

FIG. 33 schematically represents a spiral scan pattern 3300, according to one illustrated embodiment. The spiral scan pattern 3300 may consist of a single spiral scan line 3302, which may include one or more complete angular cycles (e.g., 360 degrees) which may be denominated as coils or loops. The pixel information is used to specify the color and/or intensity of each sequential pixel, as the angle increments. An amplitude or radial value 3208 (FIG. 31) specifies a radial dimension #R06 from a starting point 3308 of the spiral scan line 3302.

FIG. 34 schematically represents a Lissajous scan pattern 3400, according to one illustrated embodiment. The Lissajous scan pattern 3400 may consist of a single Lissajous scan line 3402, which may include one or more complete angular cycles (e.g., 360 degrees) which may be denominated as coils or loops. Alternatively, the Lissajous scan pattern 3400 may include two or more Lissajous scan lines 3402, each phase shifted with respect to one another to nest the Lissajous scan lines 3402. The pixel information is used to specify the color and/or intensity of each sequential pixel, as the angle increments. An amplitude or radial value 3208 (FIG. 31) specifies a radial dimension from a starting point of the Lissajous scan line 3402.

FIG. 35 schematically represents a multi-field spiral scan pattern 3500, according to one illustrated embodiment. The multi-field spiral scan pattern 3500 includes two or more distinct spiral scan lines, collectively 3502, FIG. 35 illustrating four spiral scan lines 3502a-3502d. The pixel information for each spiral scan 3502 line may be specified by a respective field (e.g., 3210a, 3210b) of a frame 3100 (FIG. 31). Advantageously, multiple spiral scan lines 3502 may be nested simply by shifting a phase between each successive ones of the spiral scan lines 3502. The phase difference between spiral scan lines 3502 should be a function of the total number of spiral scan lines 3502 which will be employed. For example, four spiral scan lines 3502a-3502d may be separate by a 90 degree phase shift. An exemplary embodiment may operate at a 100 Hz refresh rate with 10 distinct spiral scan lines (i.e., subspirals). Similar to the embodiment of FIG. 33, one or more amplitude or radial values 3208 (FIG. 31) specify a radial dimension 3506 from a starting point 3508 of the spiral scan lines 3502.

As is evident from FIGS. 34 and 35, relative spacing between adjacent pixels may vary throughout an image. It may be advantageous to at least partially accommodate or compensate for this non-uniformity. For example, it may be advantageous to adjust pixel size, for instance increasing perceived pixel size for pixels that are spaced farther apart than other pixels. Such may, for instance, be implemented via selective blurring (e.g., variable focus lens, variable diffuser, jitter) to increase Gaussian spot size. Additionally or alternatively, it may be advantageous to adjust intensity for pixels that are spaced farther apart than other pixels.

Returning to FIG. 38, driving the piezoelectric transducer 3814a with sine wave drive signals at a resonant frequency about a first axis and at a resonance frequency about a second axis, perpendicular to the first axis, produces a spiral scan pattern. The spiral scan pattern may be characterized by a radial dimension that varies as an angular dimension varies. For example, a radial dimension may vary linearly, or nonlinearly, while the radial dimension varies from 0 degrees to, or through, 360 degrees. In appearance, the spiral scan line may appear as a continuous spiral, starting at a start point and sweeping radially outward while rotating in a plane. Each complete angular cycle may be described as constituting a coil or loop. Spiral scan lines may be defined has having any desired number of coils or loops before starting over at the start point. A refresh period in which display or presentation is blanked may occur between an end of a temporally first spiral scan pattern and a state of a next temporally successive spiral scan pattern. An outer most radial dimension of the spiral scan pattern may be set by amplitude modulating of the sine wave drive signal. Amplitude modulation of a spiral scan line pattern adjusts the radial dimension without affecting the angular dimension. Thus, amplitude modulation will not affect the frequency of cycles (e.g., number of coils or loops) or number of cycles in a given time for a given scan line. The position of the front or proximate end 3812b in the pattern is synchronized with the output of the light source(s) 3815 to form two- or three-dimensional images.

While not illustrated, the projection subsystem 3804 may include one or more optical components (e.g., lenses, filters, gratings, prisms, reflectors, dichroic reflectors, defractors) that direct the output from the front or proximate end 3812b of the one or more optical fibers 3812 directly or indirectly toward the eyes 3808 of the end user 3802, for example via partially transparent display surface 3806. While not illustrated, the projection subsystem 3804 may include one or more optical components that modulate a depth of Z-axis position of pixel data. Such may, for example, take the form of a flexible reflective (e.g., nitride sputter coated with aluminum) membrane and one or more electrodes operated to cause deflection of the flexible reflective membrane. The flexible reflective membrane is positioned to reflect and focus light emitted from the front or proximate end 3812b of the one or more optical fibers 3812. The flexible reflective membrane is selectively operable based on depth map for the pixel data or information to focus light in the Z-dimension or axis. The flexible reflective membrane may employ Gaussian spots to produce an appearance of depth, certain virtual objects in an image appearing in focus while others appearing out of focus. Additionally or alternatively, the system may employ one or more Kerr effect lens.

While not necessary to a head worn embodiment, the optical fibers 3812, and optionally the yoke 3814, may be supported for movement in one or more directions. For example, the optical fibers 3812, and optionally the yoke 3814, may be supported via gimbals 3816 for 2, 3 or more degrees of freedom of movement. The gimbals 3816 may include a turntable 3816a, a first actuator 3818a (e.g., electric motor, solenoid, piezoelectric transducer) operable to pivot or rotate about a first axis 3820a. The gimbals 3816 may include a bracket 3816b supported by a frame 3816c on the turntable 3816a, a second actuator 3818b (e.g., electric motor, solenoid, piezoelectric transducer) operable to pivot or rotate about a second axis 3820b. The gimbals 3816 may include a shaft 3816d pivotally supported by the bracket 3816b, a third actuator 3818c (e.g., electric motor, solenoid, piezoelectric transducer) operable to pivot or rotate about a third axis 3820c. The first, second and third axes (collectively 3820) may be orthogonal axes.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 38, the virtual image generation system 3800 includes a control subsystem 3822. The control subsystem 3822 may take any of a large variety of forms, one of which is illustrated in FIG. 38.

The control subsystem 3822 includes a number of controllers, for instance one or more microcontrollers, microprocessors or central processing units (CPUs) 3824, digital signal processors (DSPs), graphics processing units (GPUs) 3826, other integrated circuit controllers such as application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), programmable gate arrays (PGAs) for instance field PGAs (FPGAs), and/or programmable logic controllers (PLUs). In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 38, the microprocessor 3824 controls overall operation, while the GPU 3826 renders frames (e.g., sets of pixel data) to one or more frame buffers 3828a-3828n (collectively 3828). While not illustrated, one or more additional integrated circuits may control the reading into and/or reading out of frames from the frame buffer(s) 3828 and operation of the piezoelectric transducers or electrodes 3814a, synchronizing both to produce two- or three dimensional images. Reading into and/or out of the frame buffer(s) 3828 may employ dynamic addressing, for instance where frames are over rendered.

The control subsystem 3822 includes one or more nontransitory computer- or processor-readable media to store instructions and data. The nontransitory computer- or processor-readable media may for example include the frame buffer(s) 3828. The nontransitory computer- or processor-readable media may, for example, include one or more nonvolatile memories, for instance read only memory (RAM) 3830 or flash memory. The nontransitory computer- or processor-readable media may, for example, include one or more volatile memories, for instance random access memory (RAM) 3832. The control subsystem 3822 may include other volatile and nonvolatile memory, include spinning media storage as well as solid state storage devices.

In implementations where the actuators (collectively 3818) are employed, the control subsystem 3822 may optionally include one or more dedicated motor controllers 3834 communicatively coupled to drive the actuators 3818 via motor control signals.

The control subsystem 3822 may optionally include one or more communications ports 3836a, 3836b (collectively 3836) that provide communications with various other systems, components or devices. For example, the control subsystem 3822 may include one or more wired interfaces or ports 3836a which provide wired or optical communications. Also for example, the control subsystem 3822 may include one or more wireless interfaces or ports such as one or more radios (i.e., wireless transmitter, receiver, transceiver) 3836b which provide wireless communications.

As illustrated, the wired interfaces or ports 3836a provide wired or optical communications with an environmental imaging system 3838 include one or more cameras 3838a positioned and oriented to capture images of an environment in which the end user 3802 is located. Such may be used to sense, measure or collect information about the end user 3802 and/or the environment. For instance, such may be used to detect or measure movements and/or positions of the end user 3802 or parts of the end user’s 3802 body, such as the head 3810. As illustrated, the wired interfaces or ports 3836a may optionally provide wired or optical communications with a structure lighting system 3840 which includes one or more light sources 3840a positioned and oriented to illuminate the end user 3802, a portion of the end user 3802 such as the head 3810 and/or the environment in which the end user 3802 is located.

As illustrated, the wireless interfaces or ports 3836b provide wireless (e.g., RF, microwave, IR) communications with one or more head worn transducer system 3842 that includes one or more inertial transducers 3842a to capture inertial measures indicative of movement of the head 3810 of the end user 3802. Such may be used to sense, measure or collect information about head movements of the end user 3802. For instance, such may be used to detect or measure movements, speeds, acceleration, and/or positions of the head 3810 of the end user 3802. As illustrated, the wired interfaces or ports 3836a may optionally provide wired or optical communications with an imaging system 3842 including, for example, one or more forward facing imagers or cameras 3842a. Such may be used to capture information about the environment in which the end user 3802 is located. Such may be used to capture information indicative of distance and orientation of the end user 3802 with respect to that environment and specific objects in that environment. When head worn, the forward facing imagers or cameras 3842a are particularly suited to capture information indicative of distance and orientation of the end user’s head 3810 with respect to the environment in which the end user 3802 is located and specific objects in that environment. Such may, for example be employed to detect head movement, speed and/or acceleration of head movements. Such may, for example, be employed to detect or infer a center of attention of the end user 3802, for example based at least in part on an orientation of the end user’s head 3810. Orientation may be detected in any direction (e.g., up/down, left/right with respect to reference frame of end user).

In some implementations all communications may be wired, while in other implementations all communications may be wireless. In still further implementations the choice of wired and wireless communications may be different from that illustrated in FIG. 38. Thus, the particular choice of wired or wireless communications should not be considered limiting.

Various components of the control subsystem 3822, for example the microprocessor 3824, GPU 3826, frame buffer(s) 3828, ROM 3830, RAM 3832, and/or optionally dedicated motor controller(s) 3834 may be communicatively coupled via one or more communications channels, for instances one or more buses 3846 (only one illustrated). The buses 3846 may take a variety of forms including instruction buses, data buses, address buses, other communications bus, and/or power buses.

The ability to predict head movements allows a virtual image generation system 3800 (FIG. 38), such as an augmented reality system, to quickly update the presentation of images and/or to accommodate or compensate for head movement. For example, subsequent frames may be rendered or read out earlier than would be possible if only sensed head movements were employed. As will be apparent from the discussions herein, accommodation or compensation may take a variety of forms. For example, subsequent frames may be rendered or read out with a shifted field of view or a center that is shifted toward or to an area of attention or focus of the end user. Also for example, subsequent frames may be rendered or read out to accommodate or compensate for variation resulting from the head movement. For instance, in certain display or projection technologies (e.g., “flying pixel” technologies where pixels are displayed sequentially, such as raster scan, spiral scan, Lissajous scan), rapid head movement may cause a change in spacing between pixels as a frame is presented to the end user. The accommodation or compensation may include accommodating or compensating for this variation in pixel spacing. For instance, a size or perceived size of some pixels may be adjusted relative to other pixels. Also for instance, an intensity or perceived brightness of some pixels may be adjusted relative to other pixels. As a further example, subsequent frames may be rendered or read out with a variable resolution between different portions of a resulting image. Other accommodation or compensation techniques will be apparent from the this discussion. In other aspects, many of these same techniques may be employed for purposes other than accommodation or compensation, and may be employed independently of predictive head tracking, sensed head tracking, and/or with display or projection technologies that are not “flying pixel” based.

End user movement, for example head movements may have a substantial effect on images. As the augmented reality system attempts to render frames subsequently frames consistent with the head movement, the resulting images of virtual objects may become compressed, expanded or otherwise distorted. This is at least partially the result of the fact that for many display or presentation technologies (i.e., “flying pixel” technologies), complete images for any given frame are not presented or displayed simultaneously, but rather are presented or displayed pixel by pixel. Thus, there is not a true instantaneous field of view for these display or presentation technologies. Such may occur, in different forms, across many different types of image generation technologies, for instance raster scan, spiral scan or Lissajous scan approaches. One or more “white” or blank frames or images may alleviate some of the effects of rapid head movement.

For example, FIG. 36A shows an exemplary distortion in a raster scan 3600a produced during rapid lateral movement of an end user’s head. The distortion is likely to be nonlinear since head motion may speed up after initiation and slow down prior to termination. The distortion is a function of the direction, speed and acceleration of head movement and the direction of raster scan pixel generation (e.g., right to left, top to bottom).

Also for example, FIG. 36B shows an exemplary distortion in a raster scan 3600 produced during vertically upward movement of an end user’s head. The distortion is likely to be nonlinear since head motion may speed up after initiation and slow down prior to termination. The distortion is a function of the direction, speed and acceleration of head movement and the direction of raster scan pixel generation (e.g., right to left, top to bottom).

As yet another example, FIG. 37A shows an exemplary distortion in a spiral scan line 3700a produced during rapid lateral movement of an end user’s head to the left. The distortion is likely to be nonlinear since head motion may speed up after initiation and slow down prior to termination. The distortion is a function of the direction, speed and acceleration of head movement and the direction of spiral scan pixel generation (e.g., clockwise, increasing radius). As illustrated spacing between successive loops or coils of the spiral scan line 3700a increases in the direction of the head movement (e.g., to the left in the drawing sheet), and decreases in the diametrically opposed direction (e.g., to the right in the drawing sheet).

As yet a further example, FIG. 37B shows an exemplary distortion in a spiral scan line 3700b produced during very rapid lateral movement of an end user’s head to the left. The distortion is likely to be nonlinear since head motion may speed up after initiation and slow down prior to termination. In fact, the distortion may be highly elliptical and de-centered as illustrated in FIG. 37B. The distortion is a function of the direction, speed and acceleration of head movement and the direction of spiral scan pixel generation (e.g., clockwise, increasing radius). As illustrated spacing between successive loops or coils of the spiral scan line 3700b increases in the direction of the head movement (e.g., to the left in the drawing sheet). Where the head movement is too rapid for the system, the left most portion of each loop or coil may be located in the same direction as the head movement relative to a starting point of the spiral scan line 3700b, as illustrated in FIG. 37B.

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