Intel Eyes ‘Direct Viewer Projection’

Intel may be able to help content providers and distributors deliver personalized advertising and programming to multiple viewers watching a single display screen, according to a patent published on Tuesday.

Principal Engineeer and Research Scientist Maynard Falconer is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Direct viewer projection.”

Abstract: Techniques are disclosed for direct viewer projection, which involves having each pixel’s emitted light aimed at or otherwise provided directly to the target pupil of a viewing person. In one embodiment, the techniques are implemented using steerable, collimated light sources fashioned into an array to effectively provide a display screen. Each steerable, collimated light source of the array corresponds to one pixel of a given image at a given viewing location, such that no one light source shows a whole image; rather, the whole array is used to display an image. The array can be scanned to provide different images to different viewing locations. The content projected to the different locations may be related (e.g., a movie) or unrelated (e.g., two different movies). A specific viewer can be identified and tracked such that the content is only projected to the target viewer’s eyes and no one else’s.

Patent

Claims: 

1. A method for displaying content to a viewing area, comprising: receiving image data to be rendered by a direct view display, the direct view display including an array of collimated steerable light sources, each light source corresponding to a pixel of the display; generating control signals based on the image data, for driving the array of collimated light sources to provide a first image at a first viewing location in the viewing area; adjusting the array of collimated light sources to point to a second viewing location in the viewing area; and generating control signals based on the image data, for driving the array of light sources to provide a second image at the second viewing location.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein generating control signals based on the image data is carried out by one or more rendering engines included in the array.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein each collimated steerable light source is associated with a rendering engine.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein adjusting the array of collimated light sources is carried out by one or more actuator devices included in the array.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein each viewing location in the viewing area corresponds to a scan position of the array.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising: projecting the first image to the first viewing location; and projecting the second image to the second viewing location.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the first and second viewing locations correspond to the left and right eyes of a viewer in the viewing area.

8. The method of claim 7, further comprising identifying the viewer.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein prior to adjusting the array of collimated light sources to point to a second viewing location in the viewing area, the method comprises: tracking at least one eye of a viewer in the viewing area to the second viewing location.

10. A direct view display system, comprising: an array of collimated steerable light sources, each light source corresponding to a pixel of the display; one or more rendering engines configured to generate control signals based on image data, for driving the array of collimated light sources to provide a first image at a first viewing location in the viewing area; one or more actuators configured to adjust the array of collimated light sources to point to a second viewing location in the viewing area; and wherein the one or more rendering engines is further configured to generate control signals based on the image data, for driving the array of light sources to provide a second image at the second viewing location.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein each collimated steerable light source is associated with a rendering engine.

12. The system of claim 10, wherein each collimated steerable light source is associated with an actuator.

13. The system of claim 10, wherein each collimated steerable light source is associated with a scanning mirror operatively coupled to the one or more actuators.

14. The system of claim 10, wherein each collimated steerable light source includes a red laser source, a green laser source and a blue laser source.

15. The system of claim 10, wherein each viewing location in the viewing area corresponds to a scan position of the array.

16. The system of claim 10, wherein the first and second viewing locations correspond to the left and right eyes of a viewer in the viewing area.

17. The system of claim 10, further comprising a camera.

18. The system of claim 10, further comprising an identity-confirming mechanism configured to identify a target viewer in the viewing area, wherein the identity-confirming mechanism includes a facial recognition processor that operates on images captured from the viewing area.

19. The system of claim 10, further comprising: an eye tracking processor configured to track at least one eye of a viewer in the viewing area to the second viewing location.

20. A computer program product comprising one or more non-transitory machine readable mediums encoded with instructions that when executed by one or more processors cause a process for displaying content to a viewing area to be carried out, the process comprising: receiving image data to be rendered by a direct view display, the direct view display including an array of collimated steerable light sources, each light source corresponding to a pixel of the display; generating control signals based on the image data, for driving the array of collimated light sources to provide a first image at a first viewing location in the viewing area; adjusting the array of collimated light sources to point to a second viewing location in the viewing area; and generating control signals based on the image data, for driving the array of light sources to provide a second image at the second viewing location.

21. The computer program product of claim 20, wherein adjusting the array of collimated light sources is carried out by one or more actuator devices included in the array.

22. The computer program product of claim 20, wherein adjusting the array of collimated light sources is carried out by one or more actuator devices included in the array, wherein each collimated steerable light source is associated with an actuator device operatively coupled with a scanning mirror.

23. The computer program product of claim 20, the process further comprising: projecting the first image to the first viewing location; and projecting the second image to the second viewing location.

24. The computer program product of claim 20, wherein the first and second viewing locations correspond to the left and right eyes of a viewer in the viewing area.

25. The computer program product of claim 24, the process further comprising at least one of: identifying the viewer; and prior to adjusting the array of collimated light sources to point to a second viewing location in the viewing area, tracking at least one eye of a viewer in the viewing area to the second viewing location.