Eye-tracking microdisplay delivers Terminator vision, distracts joggers

The folks at Fraunhofer IPMS have done it! After years of tireless research and promises of Borg-like eyewear, the group has delivered a prototype of the world's first bidirectional, eye-tracking OLED microdisplay (got all that?) at SID 2011. The rig is much like a monocle, except with a transparent OLED display inside, which overlays digital information on top of the reflected light that usually hits your eyeballs. What's more, there are integrated photodetectors inside and special software to monitor the direction of your gaze, allowing you to interact with your newfound augmented reality using only the flick of an eyeball. Fraunhofer foresees joggers taking in movies while out for a run, which sounds more than just a little dangerous. We, on the other hand, envision a world in which the first thing anyone does upon meeting someone new is discreetly check their relationship status on Facebook -- finally fulfilling the social network's full creep potential. One more pic and the poorly translated PR after the break.

Fraunhofer IPMS bidirectional display

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SID Display Week 2011

Dresden, 30.03.2011

May 17 - 19, 2011 in Los Angeles/USA

Booth No. 1019, German Pavilion

Fraunhofer IPMS, Dresden carries out customer specific developments in fields of microelectronic and micro systems technology serving as a business partner that supports the transition of innovative ideas into new products. Fraunhofer IPMS develops and fabricates modern MEMS and OLED devices in its own clean room facilities. In addition to R&D services it offers ramp-up within a pilot production. With modern equipment and about 200 scientists and engineers, the range of projects and expertise covers sensor and actuator systems, microscanner, spatial light modulators, wireless microsystems as well as organic materials and systems.

At SID Display Week 2011 (exhibition) Fraunhofer IPMS presents:
OLED microdisplay based Eyetracking HMD

The Fraunhofer IPMS works on the integration of sensors and microdisplays on CMOS backplane for several years now. For example the researchers have developed a bidirectional microdisplay, which could be used in Head-Mounted Displays (HMD) for gaze triggered augmented-reality (AR) aplications.

The chips contain both an active OLED matrix and therein integrated photodetectors. The combination of both matrixes in one chip is an essential possibility for system integrators to design smaller, lightweight and portable systems with both functionalities.

Rigo Herold, PhD student at Fraunhofer IPMS and participant of the development team, declares: »This unique device enables the design of a new generation of small AR-HMDs with advanced functionality«.

The OLED microdisplay based Eyetracking HMD enables the user on the one hand to overlay the view of the real world with virtual contents, for example to watch videos at jog. And on the other hand the user can select the next video triggered only by his gaze without using his hands.

On the SID 2011 a demonstrator will be presented for the first time, that has the following technical specifications:
Special Eyetracking-Algorithm for HMDs based on bidirectional microdisplays
Front brightness: > 1500 cd/m²

Rigo Herold will present the system at the exhibitor forum at May 17, 2011 4:00 p.m.: »Eyecatcher: The Bi-Directional OLED Microdisplay«.