Collings N.,Two Trees Photonics |
Christmas J.L.,Two Trees Photonics |
Masiyano D.,Two Trees Photonics |
Crossland W.A.,Two Trees Photonics
IEEE/OSA Journal of Display Technology | Year: 2015
The use of a distributed representation of a 2D image, such as the complex Fourier transform, has an advantage in image projection due to the inherent fault-tolerant attributes. For example, pixel failures in high-complexity display devices do not appear in the projected image, due to the Fourier transform relationship between the display and the image. It would appear that, in order to represent the Fourier transform of an image, the display device should be capable of fully complex modulation. However, a very good phase-only approximation to the true full complex modulation can be derived by using iterative algorithms, so that phase-modulating spatial light modulators can be employed. This article catalogues a representative selection of devices which have been employed and discusses their relative merits. © 2005-2012 IEEE.
News Article | November 27, 2015
Cambridge researchers have developed a new type of head-up display for vehicles which is the first to use laser holographic techniques to project information such as speed, direction and navigation onto the windscreen so the driver doesn't have to take their eyes off the road. The technology – which was conceptualised in the University's Department of Engineering more than a decade ago – is now available on all Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. According to the researchers behind the technology, it is another step towards cars which provide a fully immersive experience, or could even improve safety by monitoring driver behaviour. Cars can now park for us, help us from skidding out of control, or even prevent us from colliding with other cars. Head-up displays (HUD) are one of the many features which have been incorporated into cars in recent years. Alongside the development of more sophisticated in-car technology, various companies around the world, most notably Google, are developing autonomous cars. "We're moving towards a fully immersive driver experience in cars, and we think holographic technology could be a big part of that, by providing important information, or even by encouraging good driver behaviour," said one of the technology's developers, Professor Daping Chu of the University's Department of Engineering, who is also Chairman of the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE). CAPE was established in 2004 to enable Cambridge researchers to work in partnership with industry to translate science into new technologies and products. The holographic HUD technology originated with Professor Bill Crossland in 2001, and was licensed to and developed by CAPE partner company Alps Electric, and then by Two Trees Photonics Ltd at Milton Keynes, in collaboration with researchers at CAPE. Products were designed by Two Trees Photonics and Alps, and manufactured by Alps for Jaguar Land Rover. The HUD became an available option on their vehicles in September 2014. The HUD technology developed at Cambridge is the first to use laser holographic techniques, which provide better colour, brightness and contrast than other systems, but in a smaller, lighter package. It provides key information to the driver without them having to take their eyes away from the road. But according to Chu, the technology's potential has yet to be fully realised, and its real advantage is what it could be used for in future models. "What we really want to see is a fully 3D display which can provide much more information to the driver in a non-intrusive way – this is still a first generation piece of technology," he said. For a technology that feels somewhat futuristic, HUDs actually have a long history. The earliest HUDs were developed during the Second World War to help pilots hit their targets while manoeuvring. The modern HUD became commonplace in military aircraft in the 1960s, in commercial aircraft in the 1970s, and in 1988, the first production car with a HUD was introduced. In aircraft, a typical HUD includes information such as airspeed, altitude, heading and a horizon line, with additional information such as distance to target and weapon status for military applications. Most of the HUDs in passenger cars display similar information as can be seen on the dashboard – speedometer and tachometer, as well as navigation information. Some models also display night vision information. The commercially-available Cambridge HUD projects information which is relevant to the driver onto the windscreen, in full colour and in two dimensions. But according to Chu, this type of technology is just getting started. "There are three main types of information that we could integrate into future holographic head-up displays in the future," he said. "The first is the type of information that's on today's displays, but potentially we could add other information in a non-intrusive way: for example, if the driver passes a petrol station, perhaps the price of petrol at that station could flash up in the corner – the trick is how to display the most useful information in a way that doesn't distract the driver. "The next level of information that could be incorporated into holographic HUDs is information about the position of pedestrians, cyclists, kerbs or other vehicles; or whether the driver is on the right track. And if we move into the next level, we start thinking about how we can use this sort of technology to help encourage good driving behaviour." Although it is the realm of fantasy at the moment, the sorts of things which Chu envisions for future holographic HUDs could help avoid accidents by monitoring driver behaviour. "Imagine if this technology could be used to give alerts to the driver if they were driving too fast, or getting drowsy, or were over the legal alcohol limit. You could have all of this information with an augmented reality approach – your screen is your world, really. What I want is for the driver to have an immersive experience in how they connect to the world." The sort of immersive experience which Chu predicts crosses over with the development of autonomous or driverless cars, another project which involves researchers from Cambridge's Engineering department. "The car will evolve," said Chu. "I'm sure in 50 years' time, everything in cars will be controlled by computers, but it's being developed in different directions. The sorts of questions we're interested in answering are around the idea of integrating critical and non-critical systems in a vehicle. When these systems are integrated, who ultimately makes the decision – the car or the driver? And in the case of disagreement, who wins?" Lee Skrypchuk, Human Machine Interface Technical Specialist at Jaguar Land Rover, said: "The development of a laser holographic HUD presented a number of technical challenges but also a number of benefits including small package size, high optical efficiency, wide colour gamut and cross platform compatibility. Incorporating a laser holographic light engine was a true world first application of technology for Jaguar Land Rover and I'm delighted that the technology has worked so well in our vehicles."
News Article | November 1, 2016
Industrial uses for augmented reality (AR) wearables are on the rise, and earlier this year California startup Daqri launched an Intel-powered smart helmet. The third version of the helmet is now available in a $15,000 developer edition that debuted on October 31. The new helmet arrives just in time for an AR market that is predicted to hit $90 billion by 2020, with VR pegged for $30 billion by 2020, according to Digi-Capital. "It's been in the last year or two where augmented reality is where you can use it to solve hard problems. It's an exciting time for the industry," said Daqri CEO Brian Mullins, who founded the company in 2010. The helmet includes four cameras to help in assessing problems in the field by sending video in real-time to a technician in the office who can view what the on-site worker is seeing. "This is the first helmet that customers can work with directly and roll out. It's based on the last three years of working closely with key partners and designing specifically for field engineers. There are smart workers and they use valuable and sensitive instruments to get the job done. It connects them to more information, more knowledge, and it allows them to make better decisions," Mullins said. The company was originally located in Santa Monica, but when it outgrew that space in 2013, there wasn't enough room to expand in the area. Daqri moved to downtown Los Angeles, which has a thriving tech scene, Mullins explained. Daqri also has offices in the UK, Ireland, and Austria. SEE: AR and VR: The future of work and play? (ZDNet) During a visit to Daqri's headquarters, I tried on the smart helmet, which looks like a gleaming white motorcycle helmet, and was surprisingly light and comfortable to wear. I tested it in a series of applications. In the first, I was a field worker, assessing pipes, and as I looked at the pipes on the wall, someone from my fictional company's main office was able to remotely direct me through the repair job. They were able to see what I was seeing, and circle the problem areas and explain to me, through the helmet's speakers, what I needed to repair and how to do it. Of course, in reality I was simply speaking to a member of Daqri's PR team, who sat 20 feet away from me, but the concept was clear, and highly effective. In another scenario, with thermal imaging activated, I felt a bit like the lethal alien in "Predator." I was able to see which pipes glowed bright yellow, signifying heat, and which ones were red, signifying no heat. This is ideal for a quick scan of an area where mechanical components should remain at a steady temperature and not become overheated. It's also fun for viewing people, although I felt like a bit of a voyeur. Mullins said, "Augmented reality isn't about augmented reality. It's about augmenting people." He explained that people are smart, and if they have enough information, they can make the right decision. The helmet is ideal for all levels of field workers, from people on their first day at the job, to experienced technicians. While the smart helmet is ideal for industrial settings, there's also the consumer market. Daqri is working on a heads-up display for car windshields after acquiring Two Trees Photonics, a UK-based company that designs holographic technology, in March 2016. The laser-based technology projects information onto a vehicle's windshield for a futuristic heads-up display powered by holograms. I was also given a chance to see this new technology for vehicles. It's the ultimate way to use GPS, or be forewarned that another car is nearby. The hologram appears as an overlay on the lower right side of the car windshield, so that it doesn't block the driver's view of the road, but still allows for information to be shared with the driver. "Consumers will see augmented reality in their car before they see it in any other form factor. Three to five years down the road, you'll see it more and more," Mullins said.