Virtual Retinal Display
Individual Research Paper
Virtual Retina Displays
Your research might include speculation on where the state-of-the-art will be in the near future for one of the following technologies. Your paper could include a description of the state-of-the-art in your technology, a discussion of where the sources that you read believe the technology is heading in the near future, and a discussion of how this technology will affect the choices you would make if you were making purchase recommendations for a client. Although there is room for personal opinion in your paper, you must justify your conclusions.
Details on the Individual Research Paper:
1. Length and Style: The body of an analytic research paper should be at least 10 pages in length (but not more than 12 pages) and typed using the APA Guide. Student projects distill fundamental issues, discuss the various available solutions, discuss the benefits and limitations of the available solutions, and provide a new solution and justification. Student papers must state a thesis, and based on the research, attempt to prove or disprove that thesis. An adequate literature search will include a few books and journal articles (or other relevant documents). A search of Internet documentation is required. Students should develop a conclusion which synthesizes the literature in such a way as to demonstrate new knowledge.
Guidelines for the format of the paper are as follows:
- The paper should be 10-12 pages of text in length. (This minimum and maximum length should not include the title page, separate figures and tables, or the list of references);
- The paper should include a one paragraph abstract, an introduction, and a conclusion – think as if you were writing for a professional journal;
- The paper should use the APA format (double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, one inch margins, page numbers with running head in upper right corner, section titles, citations, and references in accordance with the APA standard).
- Depth of research – 40% (based on number and “authority” of references). Try to find “peer-reviewed” articles from sources like IEEE and ACM journals or from top-tier journals like Harvard Business Review. (Not that these are necessarily better, but in the academic world they are more respected and tend to be more thoroughly researched). Many IEEE and ACM journals, as well as various conference proceedings, are available through the UMUC electronic library
Virtual Retinal Display
For many years, there was the only way to view electronically displayed text or images: from the cathode ray tube. This diligent and reliable technology was the display of choice for all manner of media, from radar systems of the 1940s to desktop PCs in the early 1990s, with several million of heavy, clumsy and fragile cabinet TVs coming in between. As computing has evolved to find itself out of the office, into homes, and onto the streets, display technology has followed it faithfully. Displays are now being utilized across a myriad of industries, and their many advantages made next-generation displays ideal for more applications such as advertising, human-machine interfaces and in everyday utilities like smartphones and smart watches. The proliferations of display technology across industries is hinged on increasing resolution and energy efficiency.
It is basic science knowledge that light that is originating from a light source such as the sun or artificial light will travel along a straight line. Should it meet with an obstruction like an object, the light is reflected. The reflected light is collected by the retina of the eye, and hence the object becomes visible to us (Stanney, 2014). Virtual retinal display (VRD) technology is inspired by the very principle of human vision. VRD technology uses a low-power laser beam as the light source and scans images straight onto the retina of users. It means this technology doesn’t need screens for displaying images. The laser beam light source is fixed on a wearable device and projects light onto a variety of micro-mirrors. The micro-mirrors, in turn, reflect the light onto the retina through the pupil of the user’s eye, in real-time. Since the device scans low power laser beam in the retina, it uses less power than the screen based technologies that need to illuminate all the pixels existing on its screen array.
History of Virtual Reality Display
The Virtual Reality Display technology was invented by Kazuo Yoshinaka of Nippon Electric Co. in 1986. Subsequent work at the University of Washington at the Human Interface Technology Lab came up with an equivalent system in 1991. To date, a lot of the research put into VRDs has been in conjunction with other virtual reality systems. In this scenario, VRDs have the potential benefit of being way smaller than the current television-based systems. These TV systems and VRDs share the same disadvantages, however, as they require some optics to be able to send images into the eye, typically the same as the sunglasses system found in previous technologies (.Furness III, 2017). VRD can also be used as the component of a wearable computer system.
How the Technology Works
In a way, VRD’s closest relative is said to be more of augmented reality (AR) than a traditional display (Stanney, 2014). This is because, images are layered upon the real world, converted into the larger light patterns entering the eye from the entire scene. Unlike “real” Virtual Reality displays, VRD only fills a fraction of your vision with the picture. A look down at your computer mouse will still reveal it, as will looking over to the side at a friend next to you; VRD integrates with the real world, it does not obscure it. This functionality also makes it more convenient for integration into real life — for example, as “remote presence” robots increase in importance among busy executives, it will be essential to have the ability to see what the robot sees and retain orientation in the real world. Current technologies including the Rift nor Google’s Glass technology are unable to fulfill both those goals.
The biggest rival technologies to VRD include head-mounted personal displays such as Oculus Rift and Google Glass seen as being most innovative devices invented in this category. Decades from now these technologies will be celebrated for delivering virtual/augmented reality to the end users. Due to the fast speed of technological advancement, the VRD set of goggles is likely to make Rift, and Google Glass feel primitive in comparison (.Furness III, 2017).
In 2016, an upcoming company called Avegant unveiled a wearable VRD prototype that is like no other head-mounted device in the market. Instead of depending on a set of high-resolution LCD displays set close to your eyes (like Oculus Rift technology and its predecessors), Avegant’s technology has done away with the middleman. The Virtual Retinal Display they came up with developed has no screen – it projects pictures straight onto your retinas, which enables it some benefits over its LCD-based counterparts.
The image quality delivered by VRD technology is reportedly much superior. The goggles employ an advanced micro-mirror set up to relay two separate WXGA (1,280×768-pixel resolution) pictures to each eye, which is twice the possible resolution of now-available Oculus Rift developer kits. Also, as these images are generated with reflected instead of emitted light beams, these light rays more accurately imitate the way we perceive the real world. Pixels merge this way effortlessly, and, as there is no screen in the view, the wearer will not experience the annoying “screen door effect” that usually occur when LCD’s or OLEDs are set to close to your eye.
This feature makes the device exceptionally comfortable to wear. Not only the way it feels on your head but also how it feels on your eyes. Projecting a picture directly into the eyeball requires high precision in alignment and focusing – an amazing fete of engineering achieved by Avegant. Once everything is calibrated and adjusted accordingly, your eyes will be able to focus on themselves – the gadget eases this process for you. Avegant CEO Ed Tang said this ability alleviates eye strain problems, making the device easier to wear for extended periods of time. The Virtual Retinal Display technology may still be in its infancy. However, Avegant is moving quickly to make the design available to masses. If Avegant can keep up this steady development pace, end consumers VRDs could be ready to hit the shelves by early 2018.
The VRD is a safer display technology compared to most. The power levels consumed by the system are several levels below the recommendations by the American National Standard. The VRD effortlessly generates images that can be seen in normal room light without strain and it can also create pictures that can be viewed in daylight. The blend of high brightness, contrast and resolution elevate the VRD as the best gadget for use in a surgical display. In the same breath, studies show compelling potential for the VRD to be used to correct vision for patients with low vision (Earnshaw, Guedj, & Dam, 2012).
Over the years analogous systems have been created by projecting a defocused image straight in front of the user’s eye to form a mini “screen,” usually in the shape of big glasses. The user trained their focus on the background, where the screen appears to be levitating. The main drawback of these technologies was the limited section the “screen” covered, the heaviness of the mini-televisions used in the projection of the display. Another disadvantage was that the image appeared focused only when the user was focusing at a certain “depth.” Inadequate brightness confined them to mostly indoor settings. Recent years have seen some developments make a right VRD system feasible. The availability of high-brightness LEDs have enabled the displays to be bright enough to be used in daylight, and adaptive optics also empower systems to rectify irregularities in the eye whenever needed dynamically. The outcome is a high-resolution screen-less display with superb color range and brightness, way better than the top of the range television technologies (Chen Xu, Dewen Cheng, Haichao Peng, Weitao Song, & Yongtian Wang, 2014).
Growth Prospects for VRD technology
The international virtual retinal display (VRD) market is predicted to increase at a 3% compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2020, based on a new study titled ‘Global Virtual Retinal Display Market 2016-2020.’ The many advantages of VRDs over competing for display technologies are expected to promote the possibilities of growth for the VRD market during the projection period. Other global trends in the virtual retinal displays market include popular crowdfunding and diversified applications. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) uses continue to grow as the technology enables stellar user experience. The Marketsandmarkets report on AR & VR indicates that by 2018 the business is expected generate as much as USD 1.8 billion from various end-user channels such as gaming & entertainment, training & simulation, engineering, aviation military amongst others (Association, 2014). The technology has received massive capital injections of more than USD 2.0 billion over the past three years. Therefore, sharp growth in this technology is expected. These applications require particular screen-based gadgets to show content. Hence, the demand for these viewing devices is on the rise. The devices currently available in stores are the screen based and mostly require PC with the high-end set-up to function. However, VRD products can be linked to any gadget with HDMI output so as to view crystal clear and bright images with VR experience (Association, 2014).
The report also compared VRD market from different geographic regions- North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Rest of the World. The VRD adoption and sales in North America are projected to be the highest during the forecast period as other technologies in the form of augmented reality, and virtual reality already has a foothold in the gaming & entertainment industry of this region. The Asia-Pacific market for VRD technology is anticipated to increase at the highest annual rate between 2016 and 2025. Expanding disposable incomes, increasing population density, and appetite for technologically superior products in the gaming & entertainment sectors are factors envisaged to fuel the growth of the VRD market in the Asia Pacific region.
VRD devices are also expected to use less power compared to other screen-based devices. The appetite for wearable gadgets that consume little power is increasing. In the same breath, the need for VRD devices that consume little power and is compatible with many devices is projected to rise in next four years with mushrooming applications for AR & VR technology. Another catalyst is the quest for user privacy (Association, 2014). Since VRD devices project images straight to user’s eyeballs, it can provide utmost privacy to users. This functionality has the potential to drive the development and adoption of the device for financial or security sectors. The demand for exceptional viewing experience from end users is growing exponentially. Users desire to see crisper and brighter as well fine details in the image. VRD technology delivers exactly that with the help of its distinct technological design. Therefore, all these influences are would dictate the appetite for VRD in coming days and the market would see increasing adoption of VRD shortly.
Applications in Mainstream Industries
VRD gadgets can be fixed onto eyewear devices, and the data related to official or personal can be relayed to the user. This function enables the user to receive related information without removing attention from the task at hand. Hence, VRD devices can be integrated into a variety of areas across multiple sectors including medical, aviation & tactical, gaming & entertainment, engineering, sports, training & simulation as well as other industries like automotive, financial services, education, and firefighting (Chen Xu, Dewen Cheng, Haichao Peng, Weitao Song, & Yongtian Wang, 2014).
VRD would help pilots see and comprehend flight-relevant data such as flight path, altitude, and fuel storage status, terrain, GPS, and others (Earnshaw, Guedj, & Dam, 2012). Maintenance staff will see the exact site of malfunctioning in manufacturing plant and will be able to obtain the relevant operating procedures to effectively deal with the problem; therefore physical movement for employees would be minimized. In medical practice, VRDs will furnish the doctors and nurses with critical information related to the patient under the knife.
Gaming & entertainment industry is premised to have the biggest applications for VRD technology as the need for lower power consuming wearable gadget is accelerating in the industry in direct proportion to the advancement of AR & VR-based applications. Therefore, the industry holds the biggest stake in VRD market. In the beginning, the VRD technology is also predicted to be widely adopted for training & simulation activities as it minimizes the need for physical set-up for training sessions and cut costs of training by simulating the experience.
Sports industry offers a profitable opportunity for the adoption of VRDs since it can provide athletes and coaches statistics relevant to the game being played, players and appropriate strategies can be formulated and implemented in real time. Also, viewers will also benefit from finer details of the match in real time and thus heighten interest in the match. Sports sector also presents a platform for advertising companies to showcase their game-related content during game directly to eyeballs of their target audience (Jacko, 2012). This commercial advantage in employing VRD in sports industry will fuel the adoption of the gadgets in the industry and enable VRD to proliferate the industry at the fastest growth rate from the year of adoption of the technology for this scene. It is envisaged that the sports industry will adopt the technology by 2019 since the technology still requires higher investments in research and development to roll out for other end-user industry in gaming & entertainment.
The Future of Virtual Reality Displays
VRD technology is deemed to be one of the most favorable future display technologies that will be employed in various applications with most of them expected to be concentrated in the gaming industry. Since startups for the majority of those working on this technology, the sheer potential of this technology has seen many investors inject capital to provide platforms for startups enhance this revolutionary technology. The international VRD market constitutes of just a few vendors. As the market is in its fledgling stage of development, the budding vendors still do not hold a significant market share. Even so, it is predicted that the vendors will establish a foothold by buying out small companies in the future. For example, Avegant Technologies recently received a $24 million capital investment to facilitate the development of next-generation wearable displays. Starbreeze, the creator of StarVR HMD, invested $750, 000 into Freeform Labs Inc., an American-based Tech Company to develop a virtual reality game, Elemen Terra. Another VRD company, Fove Inc., a San Francisco, managed to raise an $11 million investment and plans to raise more money to enable mass production of VR devices.
Investments from major companies are flowing into VRD research, those already on the bandwagon include Hon Hai VC, Samsung Venture Investment, Google, Inc., COLOPL Inc., Intel Corp., and much more. Technology behemoths such as Google Microsoft and Facebook, have also invested in this line of business. Facebook has bought out one of the companies that pioneered VR devices, Oculus, for a tune of $2 billion. Google put their money in Magic Leap, an AR company for $542 million; Microsoft has come up with “HoloLens” a head mounted display, allowing the user to interface with holograms in the real world.
There are also numerous patents being filed for as every company seeks to be a pioneer this field. Google recently filed for a patent to use holograms in the head mounted displays that would overlay Computer Generated Imagery” over the real world. Magna Electronics Inc, also patents for integrating VRD with a Vehicle Vision System (Jacko, 2012). The company wants to provide a better, safer driving environment while also enabling a bird’s eye view of the adjacent areas. These developments have spawned a new era in virtual reality. This phase will see the rise new interaction designs, user behaviors, and experiences. The application in gaming & entertainment end-user industries is projected to claim the largest chunk of the virtual reality and augmented reality market. North America is expected to hold the lion’s market share of the virtual retinal display technology due to the availability of local service providers and value-added market in gaming & entertainment.
The virtual retinal display business is expected to go commercial in 2017 and grow at an average CAGR. The slow penetration rate can be attributed to certain constraints in usage since current devices once fixed on the head cover the user’s eyes; hence, these would be hard to use in public settings. It could also distract end-user industries such as medical and engineering (Chen Xu, Dewen Cheng, Haichao Peng, Weitao Song, & Yongtian Wang, 2014). Notwithstanding, with eventual acceptance and comprehension of the advantages of wearable electronics, the virtual retinal display technology will find work in various end-user industries and attain remarkable growth by 2020.
U.S companies, Microvision Inc. and Avengant Corp. are predicted to be predecessors in commercializing VRDs. Microvision is working together with HIT laboratories in the USA to create end user commercial applications while Avegant is gearing to avail to consumers its Glyph, a wearable headset with the ability to relay audio and video by 2017. Once can pre-book orders from across the globe on the Avegant website.
Earnshaw, R., Guedj, R., & Dam, A. (2012). Frontiers of Human-Centered Computing, Online Communities and Virtual Environments (1st ed., pp. 12,111). London: Springer London.
Stanney, K. (2014). Handbook of virtual environments (1st ed., pp. 25,33). Florida, USA: CRC Press Inc.
Jacko, J. (2012). The human-computer interaction handbook (1st ed., p. 55). Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis.
Association, U. (2014). Virtual Communities (1st ed., p. 135). Hershey: IGI Global.
Chen Xu, C., Dewen Cheng, D., Haichao Peng, H., Weitao Song, W., & Yongtian Wang, Y. (2014). Wearable optical see-through head-mounted display capable of adjusting virtual image depth. Chinese Optics Letters, 12(6), 060011-60013. http://dx.doi.org/10.3788/col201412.060011
Furness III, T. (2017). HITLab Projects : Virtual Retinal Display. Hitl.washington.edu. Retrieved 4 April 2017, from http://www.hitl.washington.edu/projects/vrd/