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Appl Opt. 2009 May 10;48(14):2655-68.

Design of an optical see-through head-mounted display with a low f-number and large field of view using a freeform prism.

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Department of Optoelectronic Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.


It has been a challenge to design an optical see-through head-mounted display (OST-HMD) that has a wide field of view (FOV) and low f-number (f/#) while maintaining a compact, lightweight, and nonintrusive form factor. In this paper, we present an OST-HMD design using a wedge-shaped freeform prism cemented with a freeform lens. The prism, consisting of three freeform surfaces (FFSs), serves as the near-eye viewing optics that magnifies the image displayed through a microdisplay, and the freeform lens is an auxiliary element attached to the prism in order to maintain a nondistorted see-through view of a real-world scene. Both the freeform prism and the lens utilize plastic materials to achieve light weight. The overall dimension of the optical system per eye is no larger than 25 mm by 22 mm by 12 mm, and the weight is 8 g. Based on a 0.61 in. microdisplay, our system demonstrates a diagonal FOV of 53.5 degrees and an f/# of 1.875, with an 8 mm exit pupil diameter and an 18.25 mm eye relief.

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