Mobile devices such as cellular phones and personal digital assistants are becoming more and more powerful, permitting an ever-broader range of functions and applications. Today’s communication terminals and wireless internet devices are limited, however, by their small visual displays. Office, internet and multimedia applications (sound, pictures and video) and gaming systems all use a well-sized quality screen. The problem is that a large screen also means a large device, high weight and high costs. What is needed – and is virtually assured of sound market success – is a device with the size of a cellular phone, the power of a personal computer and a virtual screen offering the dimensions and quality of a large desktop monitor.
The product for which this patent application is being submitted is designed to resolve the current conflict between the small size of today’s mobile devices and the desire to view digital content on a full-format display. A virtual retinal display or VRD system, such as a small lens integrated into the mobile terminal, will scan the photons containing the image data directly onto the retina of the user’s eye. As illustrated in Figure 1, a photon source such as a laser diode or a light-emitting diode (LED) generates a beam of light (the photon source may actually be three such sources if a colour image is to be rendered). The beam of light is intensity-modulated by a modulation unit to match the intensity of the image being generated. A beam scanner then receives the modulated signal and scans it across the retina using a particular scan pattern. The terminal may consist of one VRD system or of two such systems for the projection of stereo images into the user’s eyes.
The system can be fully integrated into a cellular phone either as a two-dimensional image system or as a stereo image system. An autonomous VRD system which can be docked onto an existing cellular phone like today’s camera module will also be available.
The device provides 3D-images and 3D-videos in Full HD, 4K, 8K and higher.
The new system should represent a breakthrough for mobile terminals, offering:
- small size with high resolution and high quality in 4K, 8K and higher
- low power consumption
- a low price
- stereo images and video in colour and
- no irritation in sunlight.
Research and development
The kind of VRD system described above can be integrated into a cellular phone according to Professor M. Menozzi of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, a specialist in the field. Its development by a team of specialists is expected to take about three years.