Part 1 of EyeWay Vision: Foveated Laser Scanning Display gave an overview of EyeWay’s technology. As I will discuss more in the next article (Part 3), EyeWay is one of the most technically interesting developments I have seen in Augmented Reality. While they are far from being done, they are working on multiple important issues.
In this part, I want to share some high-resolution photographs of EyeWay’s display. As discussed in Part 1, these photographs were provided by EyeWay directly out of the camera. I did a little cropping and converted them from Sony Camera RAW to JPEGs to make them easy to view. In addition to viewing the display with my own eyes, I took some similar pictures. Due to some mechanical interference from the prototype, the pictures from EyeWay came out a little better, so I am using them here.
In these camera pictures, you will see things you won’t see when viewing the display live. EyeWay is working on a foveal display where the high-resolution projected image will track the eye. As we will see in these pictures, the high-resolution foveal projected image behaves differently from the peripheral image.
EyeWay’s Eye Tracking Gives a Bigger Net FOV
I forgot to mention in Part 1 is that because EyeWay’s foveated eye-tracking will move both the foveal and peripheral projections, the eye-tracking foveal display movement increases the effective/perceivable FOV. This should effectively add about 20-degrees to the perceived FOV.
EyeWay Says Foveal Projection Area is Larger than Necessary
In Part 1, I discussed the size of EyeWay’s foveal projected image and questioned whether it was big enough to avoid detection of the transition region. EyeWay has since assured me that their experiments show that the foveal area is larger than necessary.
The EyeWay system is a prototype that has gone through many demos, handling, and shipping. There are some dust and scratches with the unprotected optics. We are getting a peek at work in progress.
I would also like to include below a comment on subject of EyeWay’s Eye Tracking by Kenneth Holmqvist. It includes links to a study of an earlier version of EyeWay’s eye tracking.
You may be interested to know that we have tested an earlier version of the EyeWay eye tracker against the DPI and the Tobii Spectrum. It scores better in most tasks relevant for an eye tracker controlling the direction of the laser scanner. You can find our paper here: https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3379155.3391330
There is also a video of my presentation at ETRA of the same validation study: https://youtu.be/7Sa31F8esTo
Proof EyeWay’s Foveal Projection is Non-Maxwellian
Below is a picture from a Sony camera. It captured about 90% of the prototype’s horizontal and vertical FOV. I have marked on the image two types of spots. Some of the spots (red Below is a picture from a Sony camera. It captured about 90% of the prototype’s horizontal and vertical FOV. I have marked on the image two types of spots. Some of the spots (red ovals and numbered) are caused by dust on the camera lens and/or sensor. Camera spots stayed in the same place from photograph to photograph were as dust in EyeWay’s optics moved relative to the camera.
The key thing to note is that there are no spots of any kind (optics or camera) in the region of the foveal projected image. This proves that the foveal projected image non-Maxwellian has light rays that appear to come from a given distance. EyeWay can change this apparent focus distance to prevent vergence-accommodation conflict (VAC).
The foveal display is “non-Maxwellian” and does not cast shadows of any dust on the optics, the camera (or floaters in your eye). With a foveal display any spots should be outside the eye’s ability to see them.
The image below is a crop of the full image, so you can see the foveated projected image clearly without opening the whole image. Note how there are no dust spots in the foveal display as outlined by the dotted line.
The Foveal Area is By Far the Best Image Quality of Any Laser Scanned Image I Have Seen
I have seen many laser-scanned images, both for near eye and on-screen, and EyeWay’s foveal image is the first laser projected image that didn’t look like it was laser projected. It also does not look like it came from a fixed pixel display that introduces jaggies/aliasing. EyeWay clearly uses a much better scanning process than I have seen with other lasers projectors in the foveal and peripheral regions.
In terms of resolution, EyeWay claims they are generating about 60 pixels per degree in the foveal region, based on the number of scan lines. I would judge the effective resolution to be closer to 40 pixels per degree which should be more than enough for typical AR applications.
High Resolution Through The Optic Pictures
Below are a set of high-resolution images without my markings. As discussed previously, the prototype has been used quite a bit and has dust spots in the projection path. Maxwellian direct laser scanning (the peripheral display) casts shadows from anything in the laser path. With a fully working foveal display, even a large dust spot seen here would not be perceivable by the eye.
I find the picture of the Women below does perhaps the best job of demonstrating EyeWay’s potential. In particular, I like looking at the detail in the eye on the left below (foveal projection).
The next image shows the effect of the foveated display in the small image below (click on the image for the high-resolution picture). With the busyness of the picture, it is harder to see the transition from foveal to peripheral regions.
Below is another colorful picture.
The picture below demonstrates once again the detail given by the foveal display and the richness of the colors.
Next Time: Why EyeWay Seems Important
In EyeWay, Part 3 plan to go through why I think EyeWay’s approach is technically very interesting. EyeWay is working on key problems that other AR design approaches probably cannot solve.