1 May 2012 Novel HMD concepts from the DARPA SCENICC program
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Access to digital information is critical to modern defense missions. Sophisticated sensor systems are capable of acquiring and analyzing significant data, but ultimately this information must be presented to the user in a clear and convenient manner. Head-Worn Displays (HWDs) offer one means of providing this digital information. Unfortunately, conventional HWDs occupy significant volume and have serious performance limitations. To truly offer a seamless man/machine interface, the display must be able to provide a wide array of information in a manner that enhances situation awareness without interfering with normal vision. Providing information anywhere in the eye's field of view at resolutions comparable to normal vision is critical to providing meaningful information and alerts. Furthermore, the HWD must not be bulky, heavy, or consume significant power. Achieving these goals of the ideal wearable display has eluded optical designers for decades. This paper discusses the novel approach being developed under DARPA's SCENICC program to create a high resolution HWD based on using advanced contact lenses. This approach exploits the radically different concept of enhancing the eye's normal focus accommodation function to enable direct viewing of high resolution, wide field of view transparent image surfaces placed directly in front of the eye. Integrating optical components into contact lenses eliminates all of the bulky imaging optics from the HWD itself creating a high performance wearable display in a standard protective eyewear form factor. The resulting quantum advance in HWD performance will enable HWD's to expand well beyond their current limited rolls.
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Randy Sprague, Randy Sprague, Arthur Zhang, Arthur Zhang, Lee Hendricks, Lee Hendricks, Tyrone O'Brien, Tyrone O'Brien, Joseph Ford, Joseph Ford, Eric Tremblay, Eric Tremblay, Todd Rutherford, Todd Rutherford, } "Novel HMD concepts from the DARPA SCENICC program", Proc. SPIE 8383, Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XVII; and Display Technologies and Applications for Defense, Security, and Avionics VI, 838302 (1 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.922475; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.922475

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