New technology lays the foundation for large, high-resolution 3D displays

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The researchers combined two different light-field display technologies to project large-scale 3D images at resolutions close to the diffraction limit. Their optical parameters are displayed.Credit: Byoungho Lee, Seoul National University

Researchers have developed a prototype screen that uses projection to create large, ultra-high-definition 3D images. The new approach overcomes the limitations of bright field projection. Lightfield projection can create 3D images with a natural look that does not require special 3D glasses to be displayed.

“Our optical design could make it practical to replace 2D flat screens with 3D images for digital signage, entertainment, education and other applications that dramatically improve 3D images,” Korea said. Byoungho Lee, research team leader at Seoul National University, said. “Our design can also be changed to provide an immersive experience, for example in a movie theater. “

Journal of the Optical Society of Japan (OSA) Optical lettersThe researchers describe how to combine two different light-field display technologies to project large-scale 3D images with near-diffraction-limited resolution. The new display is automatic stereoscopic. This means that different 3D images are generated so that you can see the images from different angles.

“We have developed a way to optically perform all display processes without digital processing,” says Lee. “This compensates for the limitations of each display technology and allows us to create high resolution 3D images on large screens. “

Technological combination

Lightfield screens work by reproducing light reflected from an object in a way that matches the actual visible position. Autostereoscopic bright field displays generate different images for different viewing angles and require large amounts of information to process. Since display hardware is overwhelmed with the amount of information required, this requirement creates a trade-off between the resolution and the size of the displayed image.

The new display optically converts the display volume of the object generated from a multifocal display into a projected volume for integrated imaging by automatically mapping rays through an array of microlenses (optical sensor). The converted information can be magnified on a large screen with the projection lens. After projection, the object’s display volume is reconstructed and passed through another lens array in a manner similar to existing integrated imaging systems.Credit: Byoungho Lee, Seoul National University

To overcome this limitation, the researchers designed a new optical configuration that combines a multifocal display with integrated imaging. Multifocal displays can generally produce high quality volume images, but are technically difficult to implement in large screen systems. Built-in imagery, on the other hand, excels at magnifying images.

In the new design, the multifocal display produces high-resolution 3D or volume scenes, and the built-in imaging technology enlarges them for larger screens. All information conversions between multifocal displays and integrated imaging are performed optically without digital processing.

“Our method is more than a simple combination of two existing methods, it enables ultra-high definition volumetric light-field displays with resolutions close to diffraction limits,” said Lee. “We also found a way to effectively solve the difficulty of increasing the volume of scenes and overcoming the problem of information loss which tends to affect integrated imagery. “

Large, high-resolution 3D images

After checking the resolution of the prototype system, the researchers qualitatively confirmed that the volumetric image had been reconstructed. Tests have shown that the prototype can synthesize 8.5 ” x 8.5 ” x 32cm volumetric images. This corresponds to 28.6. Megapixel 36 times the resolution of the original image.

“Our approach is very efficient in processing information, which enables low computational costs and simple, high-quality real-time system configurations,” said Lee. “NS Optical design It can also be seamlessly integrated with the different technologies used in existing light field screens. “

Researchers are currently working to optimize optics, further reduce the complexity of multifocal displays and make projectors more compact. They state that the performance of the proposed system is likely to improve as each technology evolves, as the system is a fusion of two different technologies.


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For more information:
Youngjin Jo et al, Ultra High Definition Volumetric Light Field Projection, Optical letters (2021). DOI: 10.1364 / OL.431156

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