OLED microdisplays in near-to-eye applications: Challenges and solutions
Wearable augmented-reality (AR) has already started to be used productively mainly in manufacturing industry and logistics. Next step will be to move wearable AR from "professionals to citizens"" by enabling networked, everywhere augmented-reality (in-/outdoor localisation, scene recognition, cloud access,EL) which is non-intrusive, exhibits intuitive user-interaction, anytime safe and secure use, and considers personal privacy protection (user's and others). Various hardware improvements (e.g., low-power, seamless interactivity, small form factor, ergonomics,EL), as well as connectivity and network integration will become vital for consumer adoption. Smart-Glasses (i.e., near-to-eye (NTE) displays) have evolved as major devices for wearable AR, that hold potential to become adopted by consumers soon. Tiny microdisplays are a key component of smart-glasses, e.g., creating images from organic light emitting diodes (OLED), that have become popular in mobile phone displays. All microdisplay technologies on the market comprise an image-creating pixel modulation, but only the emissive ones (for example, OLED and LED) feature the image and light source in a single device, and therefore do not require an external lightsource. This minimizes system size and power consumption, while providing exceptional contrast and color space. These advantages make OLED microdisplays a perfect fit for near-eye applications. Low-power active-matrix circuitry CMOS backplane architecture, embedded sensors, emission spectra outside the visible and high-resolution sub-pixelmicro-patterning address some of the application challenges (e.g., long battery life, sun-light readability, user interaction modes) and enable advanced features for OLED microdisplays in near-to-eye displays, e.g., upcoming connected augmented-reality smart glasses. This report is to analyze the challenges in addressing those features and discuss solutions.
Hild, Olaf R.