Optical and software tools for the design of a new transparent 3D display.

Thomas Crespel 1
1 MANAO - Melting the frontiers between Light, Shape and Matter
LaBRI - Laboratoire Bordelais de Recherche en Informatique, Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest, LP2N - Laboratoire Photonique, Numérique et Nanosciences
Abstract : We live exciting times where new types of displays are made possible, and current challenges focus on enhancing user experience. As examples, we witness the emergence of curved, volumetric, head-mounted, autostereoscopic, or transparent displays, among others, with more complex sensors and algorithms that enable sophisticated interactions.This thesis aims at contributing to the creation of such novel displays. In three concrete projects, we combine both optical and software tools to address specific applications with the ultimate goal of designing a three-dimensional display. Each of these projects led to the development of a working prototype based on the use of picoprojectors, cameras, optical elements, and custom software.In a first project, we investigated spherical displays: they are more suitable for visualizing spherical data than regular flat 2D displays, however, existing solutions are costly and difficult to build due to the requirement of tailored optics. We propose a low-cost multitouch spherical display that uses only off-the-shelf, low-cost, and 3D-printed elements to make it more accessible and reproducible. Our solution uses a focus-free projector and an optical system to cover a sphere from the inside, infrared finger tracking for multitouch interaction, and custom software to link both. We leverage the use of low-cost material by software calibrations and corrections.We then extensively studied wedge-shaped light guides, in which we see great potential and that became the center component of the rest of our work. Such light guides were initially devised for flat and compact projection-based displays but in this project we exploit them in a context of acquisition. We seek to image constrained locations that are not easily accessible with regular cameras due to the lack of space in front of the object of interest. Our idea is to fold the imaging distance into a wedge guide thanks to prismatic elements. With our prototype, we validated various applications in the archaeological field.The skills and expertise that we acquired during both projects allowed us to design a new transparent autostereoscopic display. Our solution overcomes some limitations of augmented reality displays allowing a user to see both a direct view of the real world as well as a stereoscopic and view-dependent augmentation without any wearable or tracking. The principle idea is to use a wedge light guide, a holographic optical element, and several projectors, each of them generating a different viewpoint. Our current prototype has five viewpoints, and more can be added. This new display has a wide range of potential applications in the augmented reality field.
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Thomas Crespel. Optical and software tools for the design of a new transparent 3D display.. Graphics [cs.GR]. Université de Bordeaux, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019BORD0366⟩. ⟨tel-02478328v2⟩

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