Facebook Patent | Reflective Circular Polarizer For Head-Mounted Display

Patent: Reflective Circular Polarizer For Head-Mounted Display

Publication Number: 20200049992

Publication Date: 20200213

Applicants: Facebook

Abstract

Techniques disclosed herein relate to folded optical systems for near-eye display. In one embodiment, an optical device includes a first polarizer, a second polarizer, and a partial reflector positioned between the first polarizer and the second polarizer. The first polarizer is configured to polarize incident light into light of a first circular polarization state. The second polarizer is configured to transmit light of a second circular polarization state and reflect light of the first circular polarization state without changing its polarization state. The partial reflector is configured to transmit light from the first polarizer, and reflect light from the second polarizer. The light reflected by the partial reflector and the light from the second polarizer have different polarization states.

BACKGROUND

[0001] An artificial reality system, such as a head-mounted display (HMD) or heads-up display (HUD) system in the form of a headset or a pair of glasses, generally includes a near-eye display configured to present content to a user via an electronic or optic display within, for example, about 10-20 mm in front of the user’s eyes. The near-eye display may display virtual objects or combine images of real objects with virtual objects, as in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or mixed reality (MR) applications. For example, in an AR system, a user may view both images of virtual objects (e.g., computer-generated images (CGIs)) and the surrounding environment by, for example, seeing through transparent display glasses or lenses (often referred to as optical see-through) or viewing displayed images of the surrounding environment captured by a camera (often referred to as video see-through).

[0002] The near-eye display system may include an optical system configured to form an image of a computer-generated image on an image plane. The optical system of the near-eye display may relay the image generated by an image source (e.g., a display panel) to create a virtual image that appears to be away from the image source and further than just a few centimeters away from the eyes of the user. For example, the optical system may collimate the light from the image source or otherwise convert spatial information of the displayed virtual objects into angular information to create a virtual image that may appear to be far away. The optical system may also magnify the image source to make the image appear larger than the actual size of the image source. In many cases, the applications of artificial reality systems are limited due to, for example, the cost, size, weight, limited field of view, small eye box, or poor efficiency of the optical systems used to relay the images generated by the image source.

SUMMARY

[0003] This disclosure relates generally to folded optical systems for near-eye display. A reflective circular polarizer (CP) may be used in a folded optical system to replace a reflective linear polarizer and a wave plate that are aligned, thus avoiding the alignment of the reflective linear polarizer and the wave plate. The reflective circular polarizer can reflect circularly polarized light while keeping the handedness of the reflected light the same as that of the incident light. The reflective circular polarizer can be made using, for example, cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC).

[0004] In some embodiments, an optical device may include a first polarizer configured to polarize incident light into light of a first circular polarization state, a second polarizer configured to transmit light of a second circular polarization state and reflect light of the first circular polarization state (where the light reflected by the second polarizer may be in the first circular polarization state), and a partial reflector positioned between the first polarizer and the second polarizer, where the partial reflector may be configured to transmit light from the first polarizer and reflect light from the second polarizer. The light reflected by the partial reflector and the light from the second polarizer may have different polarization states.

[0005] In some embodiments of the optical device, at least one of the first polarizer, the second polarizer, or the partial reflector may be on a curved surface. In some embodiments, the curved surface may be a surface of an optical lens.

[0006] In some embodiments of the optical device, the second polarizer may include a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) circular polarizer, where the CLC circular polarizer may include liquid crystal molecules arranged in a helical structure. In some embodiments, the helical structure may include two or more pitches. In some embodiments, the CLC circular polarizer may include a plurality of layers, each layer having a different reflection wavelength range. In some embodiments, each of the plurality of layers may include a helical structure having a different pitch. In some embodiments, at least two layers of the plurality of layers may be doped with a chiral dopant material at different dopant concentrations or may be doped with different chiral dopant materials. In some embodiments, the pitch of the helical structure varies gradually. The CLC circular polarizer may include double-twist cholesteric liquid crystal layers or liquid crystal polymer layers. In some embodiments, the helical structure may include a left-handed helical structure, and the second polarizer may be configured to transmit right-handed circularly polarized light and reflect left-handed circularly polarized light. In some embodiments, the helical structure may include a right-handed helical structure, and the second polarizer may be configured to transmit left-handed circularly polarized light and reflect right-handed circularly polarized light. In some embodiments of the optical device, the first polarizer may include a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) circular polarizer, which may include liquid crystal molecules arranged in a helical structure.

[0007] According to some embodiments, a method of displaying images may include polarizing light from an image source into light of a first circular polarization state by a first polarizer, transmitting the light of the first circular polarization state to a second polarizer by a partial reflector, reflecting the light of the first circular polarization state back to the partial reflector (in the first circular polarization state) by the second polarizer, reflecting the light of the first circular polarization state into light of a second circular polarization state back to the second polarizer by the partial reflector, and transmitting the light of the second circular polarization state to a user’s eye by the second polarizer. In some embodiments, the second polarizer may include a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) reflective circular polarizer.

[0008] According to some embodiments, a near-eye display device may include a display configured to emit display light, a first polarizer configured to polarize the display light into light of a first circular polarization state, a second polarizer configured to transmit light of a second circular polarization state to a user’s eye and reflect light of the first circular polarization state into light of the first circular polarization state, and a partial reflector positioned between the first polarizer and the second polarizer, the partial reflector configured to transmit light from the first polarizer and reflect light from the second polarizer, where the light reflected by the partial reflector and the light from the second polarizer may have different polarization states.

[0009] In some embodiments, the near-eye display device may further include an optical lens having a non-zero optical power, where at least one of the first polarizer, the second polarizer, or the partial reflector may be on a surface of the optical lens. In some embodiments, the display may include a transparent display configured to transmit ambient light, and the near-eye display device may be configured to transmit both the ambient light and the display light to the user’s eye. The second polarizer may include a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) reflective circular polarizer.

[0010] According to some embodiments, a near-eye display device may include a display including an output surface, where the display may be configured to emit display light through the output surface. The output surface may be configured to at least partially reflect light incident on the output surface from an exterior of the display, where the reflected light and the light incident on the output surface from the exterior of the display may have different polarization states. The near-eye display device may also include a reflective circular polarizer formed on the output surface of the display and including liquid crystal molecules arranged in a helical structure. The reflective circular polarizer may be configured to reflect light of a first circular polarization state in the display light back to the output surface of the display, where the reflected light from the reflective circular polarizer to the output surface of the display is in the first circular polarization state. The reflective circular polarizer may also be configured to transmit light of a second circular polarization state in the display light to a user’s eye.

[0011] This summary is neither intended to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used in isolation to determine the scope of the claimed subject matter. The subject matter should be understood by reference to appropriate portions of the entire specification of this disclosure, any or all drawings, and each claim. The foregoing, together with other features and examples, will be described in more detail below in the following specification, claims, and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] Illustrative embodiments are described in detail below with reference to the following figures.

[0013] FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram of an example of an artificial reality system environment including a near-eye display according to certain embodiments.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an example of a near-eye display device in the form of a head-mounted display (HMD) device for implementing some of the examples disclosed herein.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a simplified example of a near-eye display device in the form of a pair of glasses for implementing some of the examples disclosed herein.

[0016] FIG. 4 illustrates an example of an optical see-through augmented reality system using a waveguide display according to certain embodiments.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of an example of a near-eye display according to certain embodiments.

[0018] FIG. 6 illustrates an example of an optical system for near-eye display according to certain embodiments.

[0019] FIG. 7 illustrates an example of an optical system for near-eye display according to certain embodiments.

[0020] FIG. 8 depicts an embodiment of a folded-lens system according to certain embodiments.

[0021] FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of a folded-lens system according to certain embodiments.

[0022] FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of a cholesteric liquid crystal circular polarizer with left-handed helixes according to certain embodiments.

[0023] FIG. 11 illustrates an embodiment of a cholesteric liquid crystal circular polarizer with right-handed helixes according to certain embodiments.

[0024] FIG. 12A illustrates an embodiment of a cholesteric liquid crystal based circular polarizer with right-handed helixes according to certain embodiments.

[0025] FIG. 12B illustrates the reflection of circularly polarized light by a glass or metal mirror.

[0026] FIG. 13 illustrates normalized selective reflection spectra of an example of an helical cholesteric structure according to certain embodiments.

[0027] FIG. 14 illustrates an example of a folded-lens system including a reflective circular polarizer according to certain embodiments.

[0028] FIG. 15A illustrates an example of a folded-lens system including a reflective circular polarizer and operating in a display mode according to certain embodiments.

[0029] FIG. 15B illustrates an example of a folded-lens system including a reflective circular polarizer and operating in a see-through mode according to certain embodiments.

[0030] FIG. 16 illustrates transmission spectra of three examples of CLC layers.

[0031] FIG. 17A illustrates an example of a folded-lens system configured to operate with a first optical power according to certain embodiments.

[0032] FIG. 17B illustrates an example of a folded-lens system configured to operate with a second optical power according to certain embodiments.

[0033] FIG. 18 is a simplified flow chart illustrating an example of a method of displaying images at multiple image planes using a switchable circular polarizer according to certain embodiments.

[0034] FIG. 19 is a simplified flow chart illustrating an example of a method of operating a near-eye display device in a display mode and a see-through mode according to certain embodiments.

[0035] FIG. 20 is a simplified block diagram of an example of an electronic system of a near-eye display according to certain embodiments.

[0036] The figures depict embodiments of the present disclosure for purposes of illustration only. One skilled in the art will readily recognize from the following description that alternative embodiments of the structures and methods illustrated may be employed without departing from the principles, or benefits touted, of this disclosure.

[0037] In the appended figures, similar components and/or features may have the same reference label. Further, various components of the same type may be distinguished by following the reference label by a dash and a second label that distinguishes among the similar components. If only the first reference label is used in the specification, the description is applicable to any one of the similar components having the same first reference label irrespective of the second reference label.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0038] Techniques disclosed herein relate generally to folded optics in near-eye display. According to some embodiments, a reflective circular polarizer (CP) may be used in the folded optics to replace a reflective linear polarizer and a wave plate that are aligned, thus avoiding the alignment of the reflective linear polarizer and the wave plate. The reflective circular polarizer may be configured to reflect light of a first circular polarization state (e.g., left-handed or right-handed circular polarization) while keeping the handedness of the reflected light same as that of the incident light. The reflective circular polarizer may transmit light of a second circular polarization state without changing its polarization state. Display light from a display device can be polarized into light of the first circular polarization state, which may keep its polarization state while it pass through a 50/50 mirror and is reflected by the reflective circular polarizer back to a 50/50 mirror. The 50/50 mirror may reflect the light of the first circular polarization state into light of the second circular polarization state back to the reflective circular polarizer. The reflective circular polarizer may then let the light of the second circular polarization state reflected from the 50/50 mirror to pass through with little or no loss. In this way, display light of the first circular polarization state from the display device may be folded by the optical system and reach the user’s eye as light of the second polarization state.

[0039] In some embodiments, the reflective circular polarizer may be implemented using cholesteric liquid crystal. The polarization state of the light being reflected may be determined by the handedness of the cholesteric helical superstructure formed by the liquid crystal molecules. Multiple layers of cholesteric liquid crystal may be used to improve the reflectivity of the reflective circular polarizer. Layers of cholesteric liquid crystal with different pitches (or periods) may be used to reflect light of different wavelengths.

[0040] In addition, the orientation (or alignment) of the liquid crystal molecules in the reflective circular polarizer may be changed or realigned by applying an voltage signal on the reflective circular polarizer, such that the liquid crystal molecules may align with the electrical field to transmit light of any polarization. As such, the operation of the HMD may be switched between the display mode (with reflection by the reflective circular polarizer) and the see-through mode (without reflection by the reflective circular polarizer) by applying voltages with different levels or polarities.

[0041] In one embodiment, when no voltage is applied to the reflective circular polarizer, display light may be polarized to a first circular polarization state (e.g., left-handed or right-handed) using, for example, a circular polarizer. The display light of the first circular polarization state may pass through a partial reflection mirror, such as a 50/50 mirror, and then be reflected back to the 50/50 mirror by the reflective circular polarizer without changing the polarization state of the reflected light. The 50/50 mirror may reflect the display light of the first circular polarization state into light of a second circular polarization state (e.g., right-handed or left-handed) that can be transmitted by the reflective circular polarizer. Thus, the reflective circular polarizer may help to fold the light in the display mode to project the displayed image on an image plane. When a voltage signal is applied on the reflective circular polarizer, the liquid crystal molecules may be aligned with the electrical field, and thus light of any polarization state can pass through without being folded. In this way, the folded optics can be used for both the display mode and the see-through mode without compromising the quality of the image in the see-through mode.

[0042] According to certain embodiments, two reflective circular polarizers and a partial reflection mirror, such as a 50/50 mirror or a partial mirror with a reflectivity greater than or less than 50%, may be used to change the optical power of a folded optical device. For example, when no voltage is applied to the reflective circular polarizer, light of a first circular polarization state may pass through the first reflective circular polarizer and the 50/50 mirror and reach the second reflective circular polarizer, which may reflect the light of the first circular polarization state back to the 50/50 mirror. The 50/50 mirror may reflect the display light of the first circular polarization state into light of a second circular polarization state that can be transmitted by the reflective circular polarizer. Thus, the folded optical device may fold the light of the first circular polarization state, and thus may have a first optical power for light of the first circular polarization state in the display light. When a voltage signal is applied across at least one of the two reflective circular polarizers, the liquid crystal molecules within the reflective circular polarizer may be aligned with the electrical field, and thus light of any polarization state can pass through the reflective circular polarizer without being folded. Thus, the folded optical device may have a second optical power when the voltage signal is applied. In this way, the folded optical device may achieve different optical powers to relay images on different image planes.

[0043] In the following description, for the purposes of explanation, specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of examples of the disclosure. However, it will be apparent that various examples may be practiced without these specific details. For example, devices, systems, structures, assemblies, methods, and other components may be shown as components in block diagram form in order not to obscure the examples in unnecessary detail. In other instances, well-known devices, processes, systems, structures, and techniques may be shown without necessary detail in order to avoid obscuring the examples. The figures and description are not intended to be restrictive. The terms and expressions that have been employed in this disclosure are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof. The word “example” is used herein to mean “serving as an example, instance, or illustration.” Any embodiment or design described herein as “example” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments or designs.

I.* Near-Eye Display*

[0044] FIG. 1 is a simplified block diagram of an example of an artificial reality system environment 100 including a near-eye display 120 in accordance with certain embodiments. Artificial reality system environment 100 shown in FIG. 1 may include near-eye display 120, an optional external imaging device 150, and an optional input/output interface 140 that may each be coupled to an optional console 110. While FIG. 1 shows example artificial reality system environment 100 including one near-eye display 120, one external imaging device 150, and one input/output interface 140, any number of these components may be included in artificial reality system environment 100, or any of the components may be omitted. For example, there may be multiple near-eye displays 120 monitored by one or more external imaging devices 150 in communication with console 110. In some configurations, artificial reality system environment 100 may not include external imaging device 150, optional input/output interface 140, and optional console 110. In alternative configurations, different or additional components may be included in artificial reality system environment 100.

[0045] Near-eye display 120 may be a head-mounted display that presents content to a user. Examples of content presented by near-eye display 120 include one or more of images, videos, audios, or some combination thereof. In some embodiments, audios may be presented via an external device (e.g., speakers and/or headphones) that receives audio information from near-eye display 120, console 110, or both, and presents audio data based on the audio information. Near-eye display 120 may include one or more rigid bodies, which may be rigidly or non-rigidly coupled to each other. A rigid coupling between rigid bodies may cause the coupled rigid bodies to act as a single rigid entity. A non-rigid coupling between rigid bodies may allow the rigid bodies to move relative to each other. In various embodiments, near-eye display 120 may be implemented in any suitable form factor, including a pair of glasses. Some embodiments of near-eye display 120 are further described below with respect to FIGS. 2, 3, and 20. Additionally, in various embodiments, the functionality described herein may be used in a headset that combines images of an environment external to near-eye display 120 and artificial reality content (e.g., computer-generated images). Therefore, near-eye display 120 may augment images of a physical, real-world environment external to near-eye display 120 with generated content (e.g., images, video, sound, etc.) to present an augmented reality to a user.

[0046] In various embodiments, near-eye display 120 may include one or more of display electronics 122, display optics 124, and an eye-tracking unit 130. In some embodiments, near-eye display 120 may also include one or more locators 126, one or more position sensors 128, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) 132. Near-eye display 120 may omit any of these elements or include additional elements in various embodiments. Additionally, in some embodiments, near-eye display 120 may include elements combining the function of various elements described in conjunction with FIG. 1.

[0047] Display electronics 122 may display or facilitate the display of images to the user according to data received from, for example, console 110. In various embodiments, display electronics 122 may include one or more display panels, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display, a micro light emitting diode (mLED) display, an active-matrix OLED display (AMOLED), a transparent OLED display (TOLED), or some other display. For example, in one implementation of near-eye display 120, display electronics 122 may include a front TOLED panel, a rear display panel, and an optical component (e.g., an attenuator, polarizer, or diffractive or spectral film) between the front and rear display panels. Display electronics 122 may include pixels to emit light of a predominant color such as red, green, blue, white, or yellow. In some implementations, display electronics 122 may display a three-dimensional (3D) image through stereo effects produced by two-dimensional panels to create a subjective perception of image depth. For example, display electronics 122 may include a left display and a right display positioned in front of a user’s left eye and right eye, respectively. The left and right displays may present copies of an image shifted horizontally relative to each other to create a stereoscopic effect (i.e., a perception of image depth by a user viewing the image).

[0048] In certain embodiments, display optics 124 may display image content optically (e.g., using optical waveguides and couplers) or magnify image light received from display electronics 122, correct optical errors associated with the image light, and present the corrected image light to a user of near-eye display 120. In various embodiments, display optics 124 may include one or more optical elements, such as, for example, a substrate, optical waveguides, an aperture, a Fresnel lens, a convex lens, a concave lens, a filter, or any other suitable optical elements that may affect image light emitted from display electronics 122. Display optics 124 may include a combination of different optical elements as well as mechanical couplings to maintain relative spacing and orientation of the optical elements in the combination. One or more optical elements in display optics 124 may have an optical coating, such as an anti-reflective coating, a reflective coating, a filtering coating, or a combination of different optical coatings.

[0049] Magnification of the image light by display optics 124 may allow display electronics 122 to be physically smaller, weigh less, and consume less power than larger displays. Additionally, magnification may increase a field of view of the displayed content. The amount of magnification of image light by display optics 124 may be changed by adjusting, adding, or removing optical elements from display optics 124.

[0050] Display optics 124 may also be designed to correct one or more types of optical errors, such as two-dimensional optical errors, three-dimensional optical errors, or a combination thereof. Two-dimensional errors may include optical aberrations that occur in two dimensions. Example types of two-dimensional errors may include barrel distortion, pincushion distortion, longitudinal chromatic aberration, and transverse chromatic aberration. Three-dimensional errors may include optical errors that occur in three dimensions. Example types of three-dimensional errors may include spherical aberration, comatic aberration, field curvature, and astigmatism.

[0051] Locators 126 may be objects located in specific positions on near-eye display 120 relative to one another and relative to a reference point on near-eye display 120. In some implementations, console 110 may identify locators 126 in images captured by external imaging device 150 to determine the artificial reality headset’s position, orientation, or both. A locator 126 may be a light emitting diode (LED), a corner cube reflector, a reflective marker, a type of light source that contrasts with an environment in which near-eye display 120 operates, or some combinations thereof. In embodiments where locators 126 are active components (e.g., LEDs or other types of light emitting devices), locators 126 may emit light in the visible band (e.g., about 380 nm to 750 nm), in the infrared (IR) band (e.g., about 750 nm to 1 mm), in the ultraviolet band (e.g., about 10 nm to about 380 nm), in another portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, or in any combination of portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

[0052] External imaging device 150 may generate slow calibration data based on calibration parameters received from console 110. Slow calibration data may include one or more images showing observed positions of locators 126 that are detectable by external imaging device 150. External imaging device 150 may include one or more cameras, one or more video cameras, any other device capable of capturing images including one or more of locators 126, or some combinations thereof. Additionally, external imaging device 150 may include one or more filters (e.g., to increase signal to noise ratio). External imaging device 150 may be configured to detect light emitted or reflected from locators 126 in a field of view of external imaging device 150. In embodiments where locators 126 include passive elements (e.g., retroreflectors), external imaging device 150 may include a light source that illuminates some or all of locators 126, which may retro-reflect the light to the light source in external imaging device 150. Slow calibration data may be communicated from external imaging device 150 to console 110, and external imaging device 150 may receive one or more calibration parameters from console 110 to adjust one or more imaging parameters (e.g., focal length, focus, frame rate, sensor temperature, shutter speed, aperture, etc.).

[0053] Position sensors 128 may generate one or more measurement signals in response to motion of near-eye display 120. Examples of position sensors 128 may include accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, other motion-detecting or error-correcting sensors, or some combinations thereof. For example, in some embodiments, position sensors 128 may include multiple accelerometers to measure translational motion (e.g., forward/back, up/down, or left/right) and multiple gyroscopes to measure rotational motion (e.g., pitch, yaw, or roll). In some embodiments, various position sensors may be oriented orthogonally to each other.

[0054] IMU 132 may be an electronic device that generates fast calibration data based on measurement signals received from one or more of position sensors 128. Position sensors 128 may be located external to IMU 132, internal to IMU 132, or some combination thereof. Based on the one or more measurement signals from one or more position sensors 128, IMU 132 may generate fast calibration data indicating an estimated position of near-eye display 120 relative to an initial position of near-eye display 120. For example, IMU 132 may integrate measurement signals received from accelerometers over time to estimate a velocity vector and integrate the velocity vector over time to determine an estimated position of a reference point on near-eye display 120. Alternatively, IMU 132 may provide the sampled measurement signals to console 110, which may determine the fast calibration data. While the reference point may generally be defined as a point in space, in various embodiments, the reference point may also be defined as a point within near-eye display 120 (e.g., a center of IMU 132).

[0055] Eye-tracking unit 130 may include one or more eye-tracking systems. Eye tracking may refer to determining an eye’s position, including orientation and location of the eye, relative to near-eye display 120. An eye-tracking system may include an imaging system to image one or more eyes and may optionally include a light emitter, which may generate light that is directed to an eye such that light reflected by the eye may be captured by the imaging system. For example, eye-tracking unit 130 may include a coherent light source (e.g., a laser diode) emitting light in the visible spectrum or infrared spectrum, and a camera capturing the light reflected by the user’s eye. As another example, eye-tracking unit 130 may capture reflected radio waves emitted by a miniature radar unit. Eye-tracking unit 130 may use low-power light emitters that emit light at frequencies and intensities that would not injure the eye or cause physical discomfort. Eye-tracking unit 130 may be arranged to increase contrast in images of an eye captured by eye-tracking unit 130 while reducing the overall power consumed by eye-tracking unit 130 (e.g., reducing power consumed by a light emitter and an imaging system included in eye-tracking unit 130). For example, in some implementations, eye-tracking unit 130 may consume less than 100 milliwatts of power.

[0056] Near-eye display 120 may use the orientation of the eye to, e.g., determine an inter-pupillary distance (IPD) of the user, determine gaze direction, introduce depth cues (e.g., blur image outside of the user’s main line of sight), collect heuristics on the user interaction in the VR media (e.g., time spent on any particular subject, object, or frame as a function of exposed stimuli), some other functions that are based in part on the orientation of at least one of the user’s eyes, or some combination thereof. Because the orientation may be determined for both eyes of the user, eye-tracking unit 130 may be able to determine where the user is looking. For example, determining a direction of a user’s gaze may include determining a point of convergence based on the determined orientations of the user’s left and right eyes. A point of convergence may be the point where the two foveal axes of the user’s eyes intersect. The direction of the user’s gaze may be the direction of a line passing through the point of convergence and the mid-point between the pupils of the user’s eyes.

[0057] Input/output interface 140 may be a device that allows a user to send action requests to console 110. An action request may be a request to perform a particular action. For example, an action request may be to start or to end an application or to perform a particular action within the application. Input/output interface 140 may include one or more input devices. Example input devices may include a keyboard, a mouse, a game controller, a glove, a button, a touch screen, or any other suitable device for receiving action requests and communicating the received action requests to console 110. An action request received by the input/output interface 140 may be communicated to console 110, which may perform an action corresponding to the requested action. In some embodiments, input/output interface 140 may provide haptic feedback to the user in accordance with instructions received from console 110. For example, input/output interface 140 may provide haptic feedback when an action request is received, or when console 110 has performed a requested action and communicates instructions to input/output interface 140.

[0058] Console 110 may provide content to near-eye display 120 for presentation to the user in accordance with information received from one or more of external imaging device 150, near-eye display 120, and input/output interface 140. In the example shown in FIG. 1, console 110 may include an application store 112, a headset tracking module 114, an artificial reality engine 116, and eye-tracking module 118. Some embodiments of console 110 may include different or additional modules than those described in conjunction with FIG. 1. Functions further described below may be distributed among components of console 110 in a different manner than is described here.

[0059] In some embodiments, console 110 may include a processor and a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions executable by the processor. The processor may include multiple processing units executing instructions in parallel. The computer-readable storage medium may be any memory, such as a hard disk drive, a removable memory, or a solid-state drive (e.g., flash memory or dynamic random access memory (DRAM)). In various embodiments, the modules of console 110 described in conjunction with FIG. 1 may be encoded as instructions in the non-transitory computer-readable storage medium that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform the functions further described below.

[0060] Application store 112 may store one or more applications for execution by console 110. An application may include a group of instructions that, when executed by a processor, generates content for presentation to the user. Content generated by an application may be in response to inputs received from the user via movement of the user’s eyes or inputs received from the input/output interface 140. Examples of the applications may include gaming applications, conferencing applications, video playback application, or other suitable applications.

[0061] Headset tracking module 114 may track movements of near-eye display 120 using slow calibration information from external imaging device 150. For example, headset tracking module 114 may determine positions of a reference point of near-eye display 120 using observed locators from the slow calibration information and a model of near-eye display 120. Headset tracking module 114 may also determine positions of a reference point of near-eye display 120 using position information from the fast calibration information. Additionally, in some embodiments, headset tracking module 114 may use portions of the fast calibration information, the slow calibration information, or some combination thereof, to predict a future location of near-eye display 120. Headset tracking module 114 may provide the estimated or predicted future position of near-eye display 120 to artificial reality engine 116.

[0062] Headset tracking module 114 may calibrate the artificial reality system environment 100 using one or more calibration parameters, and may adjust one or more calibration parameters to reduce errors in determining the position of near-eye display 120. For example, headset tracking module 114 may adjust the focus of external imaging device 150 to obtain a more accurate position for observed locators on near-eye display 120. Moreover, calibration performed by headset tracking module 114 may also account for information received from IMU 132. Additionally, if tracking of near-eye display 120 is lost (e.g., external imaging device 150 loses line of sight of at least a threshold number of locators 126), headset tracking module 114 may re-calibrate some or all of the calibration parameters.

[0063] Artificial reality engine 116 may execute applications within artificial reality system environment 100 and receive position information of near-eye display 120, acceleration information of near-eye display 120, velocity information of near-eye display 120, predicted future positions of near-eye display 120, or some combination thereof from headset tracking module 114. Artificial reality engine 116 may also receive estimated eye position and orientation information from eye-tracking module 118. Based on the received information, artificial reality engine 116 may determine content to provide to near-eye display 120 for presentation to the user. For example, if the received information indicates that the user has looked to the left, artificial reality engine 116 may generate content for near-eye display 120 that mirrors the user’s eye movement in a virtual environment. Additionally, artificial reality engine 116 may perform an action within an application executing on console 110 in response to an action request received from input/output interface 140, and provide feedback to the user indicating that the action has been performed. The feedback may be visual or audible feedback via near-eye display 120 or haptic feedback via input/output interface 140.

[0064] Eye-tracking module 118 may receive eye-tracking data from eye-tracking unit 130 and determine the position of the user’s eye based on the eye tracking data. The position of the eye may include an eye’s orientation, location, or both relative to near-eye display 120 or any element thereof. Because the eye’s axes of rotation change as a function of the eye’s location in its socket, determining the eye’s location in its socket may allow eye-tracking module 118 to more accurately determine the eye’s orientation.

[0065] In some embodiments, eye-tracking module 118 may store a mapping between images captured by eye-tracking unit 130 and eye positions to determine a reference eye position from an image captured by eye-tracking unit 130. Alternatively or additionally, eye-tracking module 118 may determine an updated eye position relative to a reference eye position by comparing an image from which the reference eye position is determined to an image from which the updated eye position is to be determined. Eye-tracking module 118 may determine eye position using measurements from different imaging devices or other sensors. For example, eye-tracking module 118 may use measurements from a slow eye-tracking system to determine a reference eye position, and then determine updated positions relative to the reference eye position from a fast eye-tracking system until a next reference eye position is determined based on measurements from the slow eye-tracking system.

[0066] Eye-tracking module 118 may also determine eye calibration parameters to improve precision and accuracy of eye tracking. Eye calibration parameters may include parameters that may change whenever a user dons or adjusts near-eye display 120. Example eye calibration parameters may include an estimated distance between a component of eye-tracking unit 130 and one or more parts of the eye, such as the eye’s center, pupil, cornea boundary, or a point on the surface of the eye. Other example eye calibration parameters may be specific to a particular user and may include an estimated average eye radius, an average corneal radius, an average sclera radius, a map of features on the eye surface, and an estimated eye surface contour. In embodiments where light from the outside of near-eye display 120 may reach the eye (as in some augmented reality applications), the calibration parameters may include correction factors for intensity and color balance due to variations in light from the outside of near-eye display 120. Eye-tracking module 118 may use eye calibration parameters to determine whether the measurements captured by eye-tracking unit 130 would allow eye-tracking module 118 to determine an accurate eye position (also referred to herein as “valid measurements”). Invalid measurements, from which eye-tracking module 118 may not be able to determine an accurate eye position, may be caused by the user blinking, adjusting the headset, or removing the headset, and/or may be caused by near-eye display 120 experiencing greater than a threshold change in illumination due to external light. In some embodiments, at least some of the functions of eye-tracking module 118 may be performed by eye-tracking unit 130.

[0067] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an example of a near-eye display in the form of a head-mounted display (HMD) device 200 for implementing some of the examples disclosed herein. HMD device 200 may be a part of, e.g., a virtual reality (VR) system, an augmented reality (AR) system, a mixed reality (MR) system, or some combinations thereof. HMD device 200 may include a body 220 and a head strap 230. FIG. 2 shows a top side 223, a front side 225, and a right side 227 of body 220 in the perspective view. Head strap 230 may have an adjustable or extendible length. There may be a sufficient space between body 220 and head strap 230 of HMD device 200 for allowing a user to mount HMD device 200 onto the user’s head. In various embodiments, HMD device 200 may include additional, fewer, or different components. For example, in some embodiments, HMD device 200 may include eyeglass temples and temples tips as shown in, for example, FIG. 2, rather than head strap 230.

[0068] HMD device 200 may present to a user media including virtual and/or augmented views of a physical, real-world environment with computer-generated elements. Examples of the media presented by HMD device 200 may include images (e.g., two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) images), videos (e.g., 2D or 3D videos), audios, or some combinations thereof. The images and videos may be presented to each eye of the user by one or more display assemblies (not shown in FIG. 2) enclosed in body 220 of HMD device 200. In various embodiments, the one or more display assemblies may include a single electronic display panel or multiple electronic display panels (e.g., one display panel for each eye of the user). Examples of the electronic display panel(s) may include, for example, a liquid crystal display (LCD), an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display, an inorganic light emitting diode (ILED) display, a micro light emitting diode (mLED) display, an active-matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) display, a transparent organic light emitting diode (TOLED) display, some other display, or some combinations thereof. HMD device 200 may include two eye box regions.

[0069] In some implementations, HMD device 200 may include various sensors (not shown), such as depth sensors, motion sensors, position sensors, and eye tracking sensors. Some of these sensors may use a structured light pattern for sensing. In some implementations, HMD device 200 may include an input/output interface for communicating with a console. In some implementations, HMD device 200 may include a virtual reality engine (not shown) that can execute applications within HMD device 200 and receive depth information, position information, acceleration information, velocity information, predicted future positions, or some combination thereof of HMD device 200 from the various sensors. In some implementations, the information received by the virtual reality engine may be used for producing a signal (e.g., display instructions) to the one or more display assemblies. In some implementations, HMD device 200 may include locators (not shown, such as locators 126) located in fixed positions on body 220 relative to one another and relative to a reference point. Each of the locators may emit light that is detectable by an external imaging device.

[0070] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a simplified example near-eye display 300 in the form of a pair of glasses for implementing some of the examples disclosed herein. Near-eye display 300 may be a specific implementation of near-eye display 120 of FIG. 1, and may be configured to operate as a virtual reality display, an augmented reality display, and/or a mixed reality display. Near-eye display 300 may include a frame 305 and a display 310. Display 310 may be configured to present content to a user. In some embodiments, display 310 may include display electronics and/or display optics. For example, as described above with respect to near-eye display 120 of FIG. 1, display 310 may include an LCD display panel, an LED display panel, or an optical display panel (e.g., a waveguide display assembly).

[0071] Near-eye display 300 may further include various sensors 350a, 350b, 350c, 350d, and 350e on or within frame 305. In some embodiments, sensors 350a-350e may include one or more depth sensors, motion sensors, position sensors, inertial sensors, or ambient light sensors. In some embodiments, sensors 350a-350e may include one or more image sensors configured to generate image data representing different fields of views in different directions. In some embodiments, sensors 350a-350e may be used as input devices to control or influence the displayed content of near-eye display 300, and/or to provide an interactive VR/AR/MR experience to a user of near-eye display 300. In some embodiments, sensors 350a-350e may also be used for stereoscopic imaging.

[0072] In some embodiments, near-eye display 300 may further include one or more illuminators 330 to project light into the physical environment. The projected light may be associated with different frequency bands (e.g., visible light, infra-red light, ultra-violet light, etc.), and may serve various purposes. For example, illuminator(s) 330 may project light in a dark environment (or in an environment with low intensity of infra-red light, ultra-violet light, etc.) to assist sensors 350a-350e in capturing images of different objects within the dark environment. In some embodiments, illuminator(s) 330 may be used to project certain light pattern onto the objects within the environment. In some embodiments, illuminator(s) 330 may be used as locators, such as locators 126 described above with respect to FIG. 1.

[0073] In some embodiments, near-eye display 300 may also include a high-resolution camera 340. Camera 340 may capture images of the physical environment in the field of view. The captured images may be processed, for example, by a virtual reality engine (e.g., artificial reality engine 116 of FIG. 1) to add virtual objects to the captured images or modify physical objects in the captured images, and the processed images may be displayed to the user by display 310 for AR or MR applications.

[0074] FIG. 4 illustrates an example of an optical see-through augmented reality system 400 using a waveguide display according to certain embodiments. Augmented reality system 400 may include a projector 410 and a combiner 415. Projector 410 may include a light source or image source 412 and projector optics 414. In some embodiments, image source 412 may include a plurality of pixels that displays virtual objects, such as an LCD display panel or an LED display panel. In some embodiments, image source 412 may include a light source that generates coherent or partially coherent light. For example, image source 412 may include a laser diode, a vertical cavity surface emitting laser, and/or a light emitting diode. In some embodiments, image source 412 may include a plurality of light sources each emitting a monochromatic image light corresponding to a primary color (e.g., red, green, or blue). In some embodiments, image source 412 may include an optical pattern generator, such as a spatial light modulator. Projector optics 414 may include one or more optical components that can condition the light from image source 412, such as expanding, collimating, scanning, or projecting light from image source 412 to combiner 415. The one or more optical components may include, for example, one or more lenses, liquid lenses, mirrors, apertures, and/or gratings. In some embodiments, projector optics 414 may include a liquid lens (e.g., a liquid crystal lens) with a plurality of electrodes that allows scanning of the light from image source 412.

[0075] Combiner 415 may include an input coupler 430 for coupling light from projector 410 into a substrate 420 of combiner 415. Input coupler 430 may include a volume holographic grating, a diffractive optical elements (DOE) (e.g., a surface-relief grating), or a refractive coupler (e.g., a wedge or a prism). Input coupler 430 may have a coupling efficiency of greater than 30%, 50%, 75%, 90% , or higher for visible light. As used herein, visible light may refer to light with a wavelength between about 380 nm to about 750 nm. Light coupled into substrate 420 may propagate within substrate 420 through, for example, total internal reflection (TIR). Substrate 420 may be in the form of a lens of a pair of eyeglasses. Substrate 420 may have a flat or a curved surface, and may include one or more types of dielectric materials, such as glass, quartz, plastic, polymer, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), crystal, or ceramic. A thickness of the substrate may range from, for example, less than about 1 mm to about 10 mm or more. Substrate 420 may be transparent to visible light. A material may be “transparent” to a light beam if the light beam can pass through the material with a high transmission rate, such as larger than 50%, 40%, 75%, 80%, 90%, 95%, or higher, where a small portion of the light beam (e.g., less than 50%, 40%, 25%, 20%, 10%, 5%, or less) may be scattered, reflected, or absorbed by the material. The transmission rate (i.e., transmissivity) may be represented by either a photopically weighted or an unweighted average transmission rate over a range of wavelengths, or the lowest transmission rate over a range of wavelengths, such as the visible wavelength range.

[0076] Substrate 420 may include or may be coupled to a plurality of output couplers 440 configured to extract at least a portion of the light guided by and propagating within substrate 420 from substrate 420, and direct extracted light 460 to an eye 490 of the user of augmented reality system 400. As input coupler 430, output couplers 440 may include grating couplers (e.g., volume holographic gratings or surface-relief gratings), other DOEs, prisms, etc. Output couplers 440 may have different coupling (e.g., diffraction) efficiencies at different locations. Substrate 420 may also allow light 450 from environment in front of combiner 415 to pass through with little or no loss. Output couplers 440 may also allow light 450 to pass through with little loss. For example, in some implementations, output couplers 440 may have a low diffraction efficiency for light 450 such that light 450 may be refracted or otherwise pass through output couplers 440 with little loss, and thus may have a higher intensity than extracted light 460. In some implementations, output couplers 440 may have a high diffraction efficiency for light 450 and may diffract light 450 to certain desired directions (i.e., diffraction angles) with little loss. As a result, the user may be able to view combined images of the environment in front of combiner 415 and virtual objects projected by projector 410.

[0077] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of an example of a near-eye display 500 according to certain embodiments. Near-eye display 500 may include at least one display assembly 510. Display assembly 510 may be configured to direct image light (i.e., display light) to an eyebox located at exit pupil 530 and to user’s eye 520. It is noted that, even though FIG. 5 and other figures in the present disclosure show an eye of a user of a near-eye display for illustration purposes, the eye of the user is not a part of the corresponding near-eye display.

[0078] As HMD device 200 and near-eye display 300, near-eye display 500 may include a frame 505 and a display assembly 510 that includes a display 512 and/or display optics 514 coupled to or embedded in frame 505. As described above, display 512 may display images to the user electrically (e.g., using LCD) or optically (e.g., using an waveguide display and optical couplers) according to data received from a console, such as console 110. Display 512 may include sub-pixels to emit light of a predominant color, such as red, green, blue, white, or yellow. In some embodiments, display assembly 510 may include a stack of one or more waveguide displays including, but not restricted to, a stacked waveguide display, a varifocal waveguide display, etc. The stacked waveguide display is a polychromatic display (e.g., a red-green-blue (RGB) display) created by stacking waveguide displays whose respective monochromatic sources are of different colors. The stacked waveguide display may also be a polychromatic display that can be projected on multiple planes (e.g. multi-planar colored display). In some configurations, the stacked waveguide display may be a monochromatic display that can be projected on multiple planes (e.g. multi-planar monochromatic display). The varifocal waveguide display is a display that can adjust a focal position of image light emitted from the waveguide display. In alternate embodiments, display assembly 510 may include the stacked waveguide display and the varifocal waveguide display.

[0079] Display optics 514 may be similar to display optics 124 and may display image content optically (e.g., using optical waveguides and optical couplers), correct optical errors associated with the image light, combine images of virtual objects and real objects, and present the corrected image light to exit pupil 530 of near-eye display 500, where the user’s eye 520 may be located at. Display optics 514 may also relay the image to create virtual images that appear to be away from the image source and further than just a few centimeters away from the eyes of the user. For example, display optics 514 may collimate the image source to create a virtual image that may appear to be far away and convert spatial information of the displayed virtual objects into angular information. Display optics 514 may also magnify the image source to make the image appear larger than the actual size of the image source. More detail of the display optics is described below.

II.* Display Optics*

[0080] In various implementations, the optical system of a near-eye display, such as an HMD, may be pupil-forming or non-pupil-forming. Non-pupil-forming HMDs may not use intermediary optics to relay the displayed image, and thus the user’s pupils may serve as the pupils of the HMD. Such non-pupil-forming displays may be variations of a magnifier (sometimes referred to as “simple eyepiece”), which may magnify a displayed image to form a virtual image at a greater distance from the eye. The non-pupil-forming display may use fewer optical elements. Pupil-forming HMDs may use optics similar to, for example, optics of a compound microscope or telescope, and may include an internal aperture and some forms of projection optics that magnify an intermediary image and relay it to the exit pupil. The more complex optical system of the pupil-forming HMDs may allow for a larger number of optical elements in the path from the image source to the exit-pupil, which may be used to correct optical aberrations and generate focal cues, and may provide design freedom for packaging the HMD. For example, a number of reflectors (e.g., mirrors) may be inserted in the optical path so that the optical system may be folded or wrapped around to fit in a compact HMD.

[0081] FIG. 6 illustrates an example of an optical system 600 with a non-pupil-forming configuration for a near-eye display device according to certain embodiments. Optical system 600 may include projector optics 610 and an image source 620. Projector optics 610 may function as a magnifier. FIG. 6 shows that image source 620 is in front of projector optics 610. In some other embodiments, image source 620 may be located outside of the field of view of a user’s eye 690. For example, one or more reflectors or directional couplers as shown in, for example, FIG. 4, may be used to reflect light from an image source to make the image source appear to be at the location of image source 620 shown in FIG. 6. Thus, image source 620 may be similar to image source 412 described above. Light from an area (e.g., a pixel or a light emitting source) on image source 620 may be directed to user’s eye 690 by projector optics 610. Light directed by projector optics 610 may form virtual images on an image plane 630. The location of image plane 630 may be determined based on the location of image source 620 and the focal length of projector optics 610. User’s eye 690 may form a real image on the retina of user’s eye 690 using light directed by projector optics 610. In this way, objects at different spatial locations on image source 620 may appear to be objects on an image plane far away from user’s eye 690 at different viewing angles.

[0082] FIG. 7 illustrates an example of an optical system 700 with a pupil forming configuration for a near-eye display device according to certain embodiments. Optical system 700 may include an image source 710, a first relay lens 720, and a second relay lens 730. Even though image source 710, first relay lens 720, and second relay lens 730 are shown as in front of a user’s eye 790, one or more of them may be physically located outside of the field of view of user’s eye 790 when, for example, one or more reflectors or directional couplers are used to change the propagation direction of the light. Image source 710 may be similar to image source 412 described above. First relay lens 720 may include one or more lenses, and may produce an intermediate image 750 of image source 710. Second relay lens 730 may include one or more lenses, and may relay intermediate image 750 to an exit pupil 740. As shown in FIG. 7, objects at different spatial locations on image source 710 may appear to be objects far away from the user’s eye 790 at different viewing angles. The light from different angles may then be focused by the eye onto different locations on retina 792 of user’s eye 790. For example, at least some portion of the light may be focused on fovea 794 on retina 792.

[0083] Optical system 600 and optical system 700 may be large and heavy if implemented using conventional optics. In some implementations, folded optics including reflective optical elements may be used to implement compact HMD systems with a large field of view.

III.* Folded Lens*

[0084] FIG. 8 shows an embodiment of a folded-lens system 800 comprising a first lens M-1 (or a curved substrate) and a second lens M-2 (or a curved substrate). Light from a display 804 may be relayed to an eye box 808 by folded-lens system 800. First lens M-1 may include a partial reflector 812 formed on it. Partial reflector 812 may have a transmissivity T that is equal to or greater than 20% or 40% and equal to or less than 60% or 90% (e.g., a 50/50 mirror with T=50%+/-2, 5, or 10%). Second lens M-2 may include a reflective polarizer 816 formed on it. Folded-lens system 800 may also include a quarter-wave plate (not shown in FIG. 8) between first lens M-1 and second lens M-2. As shown in FIG. 8, light emitted from display 804 may be transmitted by partial reflector 812 (e.g., half of the light may be transmitted through partial reflector 812) and first lens M-1, reflected off reflective polarizer 816 on second lens M-2, reflected off partial reflector 812 and first mirror M-1, and then transmitted through reflective polarizer 816 to eye box 808. In this way, light may be folded within the cavity formed by partial reflector 812 and reflective polarizer 816 to increase the effective optical path and achieve a desired optical power with a compact form factor.

[0085] FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment a folded-lens system 900. Folded-lens system 900 may be a specific implementation of folded-lens system 800. Even though the components of folded-lens system 900 are shown as flat components in FIG. 9, at least some of the components may have a curved shape. For example, at least some of the components may be formed on a curved surface, such as a surface of a lens or a curved substrate as shown in, for example, FIG. 8.

[0086] In the example shown in FIG. 9, light from a display 902 travels along an optical path (OP) 904 to an eye box 916. Light from display 902 may first be converted to circularly polarized light. There may be several ways to generate circularly polarized light. One way is to use a quarter-wave plate after a linear polarizer, where the transmission axis of the linear polarizer is half way (45.degree.) between the fast and slow axes of the quarter-wave plate. The unpolarized light can be linearly polarized by the linear polarizer, and the linearly polarized light can be transformed into circularly polarized light by the quarter wave plate. For example, as shown in FIG. 9, light at a first portion OP-1 of optical path 904 is linearly polarized after transmitting from display 902 through a linear polarizer 906 (e.g., an absorptive polarizer or a beam-splitting polarizer). For example, the light may be polarized at 45 degrees with respect to the x axis in an x/y plane, wherein the z axis is a direction of light propagation. The linearly polarized light may pass through a quarter-wave plate (QWP) 908 and become circularly polarized along a second portion OP-2 of optical path 904. More specifically, a fast axis of QWP 908 may be aligned along they axis, and the light may become left-handed circularly polarized after passing through QWP 908.

[0087] The left-handed circularly polarized light may then pass through a partial reflector 910. After passing through the partial reflector 910, the polarization of the light does not change along a third portion OP-3 of optical path 904. After passing through an optical retarder 912, the light is changed back to linearly-polarized light (e.g., at 45 degrees with respect to the x axis) on a fourth portion OP-4 of optical path 904. For example, optical retarder 912 may be a second quarter-wave plate with axes rotated by 90 degrees from the axes of QWP 908.

[0088] Light from the fourth portion OP-4 of optical path 904 may be reflected off a reflective linear polarizer 914 that passes light linearly polarized at 135 degrees and reflects light linearly polarized at 45 degrees. After reflected by reflective linear polarizer 914, light from the fourth portion OP-4 of optical path 904 may become linearly polarized at 135 degrees at a fifth portion OP-5 of optical path 904 because the electric field at the reflection surface remains unchanged in the x/y plane yet the direction of beam propagation is flipped. Light reflected from reflective linear polarizer 914 may then pass through optical retarder 912 a second time and become circularly polarized (e.g., left handed) at a sixth portion OP-6 of optical path 904.

[0089] Light from the sixth portion OP-6 of optical path 904 is reflected (e.g., 50% reflected) and becomes oppositely (e.g., right-handed) circularly polarized at a seventh portion OP-7 of optical path 904. After passing through optical retarder 912 a third time, the light becomes linearly polarized at an eighth portion OP-8 of the optical path 904, with a polarization direction (e.g., at 135 degrees) orthogonal to the polarization direction (e.g., at 45 degrees) of the light at the fourth portion OP-4 of optical path 904. Light from the eighth portion OP-8 of optical path 904 is then transmitted through reflective linear polarizer 914 to eye box 916. Due to the double-reflection and triple-pass in the cavity between partial reflector 910 (e.g., on first lens M-1) and reflective linear polarizer 914 (e.g., on second lens M-2), the total physical length of the system can be reduced.

[0090] As shown in FIG. 9, the folded optics may use one or more polarizers and one or more wave plates to transmit and reflect light of certain polarization states within the folded optics so as to effectively “fold” the optical path. The folded optics may reduce the thickness and/or weight of the HMD, and may provide a wide field of view. However, the quality of the image displayed to a user’s eye may be compromised (e.g., due to strong ghost images) if the polarizers and/or the wave plates are not precisely aligned. For example, linear polarizer 906 and QWP 908 may need to be aligned such that the polarization direction of linear polarizer 906 is half way (45 degrees) between the fast and slow axes of QWP 908 to generate circularly polarized light. QWP 908 and optical retarder 912 may need to be aligned such that the fast and slow axes of QWP 908 are aligned with the slow and fast axes of optical retarder 912, respectively, in order to make the light passing through optical retarder 912 on OP-4 linearly polarized. Otherwise, light passing through optical retarder 912 on OP-4 may not be linearly polarized, and at least a portion of the light may be transmitted through reflective linear polarizer 914 (instead of being fully reflected) to cause ghost images. Similarly, reflective linear polarizer 914 and optical retarder 912 may need to be aligned such that the polarization direction of reflective linear polarizer 914 is half way (45 degrees) between the fast and slow axes of optical retarder 912. In many cases, it may be difficult, costly, or time-consuming to properly align the optical components, which may also become misaligned during use even if they are precisely aligned initially. Thus, it is desirable to eliminate at least some of these optical components that may need precise alignments.

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