Magic Leap Patent | Word Flow Annotation

Patent: Word Flow Annotation

Publication Number: 20200184975

Publication Date: 20200611

Applicants: Magic Leap

Abstract

An augmented reality (AR) device can be configured to monitor ambient audio data. The AR device can detect speech in the ambient audio data, convert the detected speech into text, or detect keywords such as rare words in the speech. When a rare word is detected, the AR device can retrieve auxiliary information (e.g., a definition) related to the rare word from a public or private source. The AR device can display the auxiliary information for a user to help the user better understand the speech. The AR device may perform translation of foreign speech, may display text (or the translation) of a speaker’s speech to the user, or display statistical or other information associated with the speech.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 15/673,894, filed on Aug. 10, 2017, entitled “WORD FLOW ANNOTATION,” and claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/374,183, filed on Aug. 12, 2016, entitled “WORD FLOW ANNOTATION,” the disclosures of each of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD

[0002] The present disclosure relates to virtual reality and augmented reality imaging and visualization systems and more particularly to generating a visual annotation of speech to enhance understanding of the speech by a user of the systems.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Modern computing and display technologies have facilitated the development of systems for so called “virtual reality”, “augmented reality”, or “mixed reality” experiences, wherein digitally reproduced images or portions thereof are presented to a user in a manner wherein they seem to be, or may be perceived as, real. A virtual reality, or “VR”, scenario typically involves presentation of digital or virtual image information without transparency to other actual real-world visual input; an augmented reality, or “AR”, scenario typically involves presentation of digital or virtual image information as an augmentation to visualization of the actual world around the user; a mixed reality, or “MR”, related to merging real and virtual worlds to produce new environments where physical and virtual objects co-exist and interact in real time. As it turns out, the human visual perception system is very complex, and producing a VR, AR, or MR technology that facilitates a comfortable, natural-feeling, rich presentation of virtual image elements amongst other virtual or real-world imagery elements is challenging. Systems and methods disclosed herein address various challenges related to VR, AR and MR technology.

SUMMARY

[0004] Various embodiments of a mixed reality system for providing explanation or information on objects of interest (e.g., new or unknown words to a listener) in (or near) real-time with a minimal level of distraction to, and an insignificant level of effort by, the listener are disclosed.

[0005] In some embodiments, an augmented reality (AR) system can comprise an AR display configured to present virtual content to a user of the AR system; an audio sensor configured to capture ambient sounds; and a hardware processor in communication with the AR display and the audio sensor. The hardware processor can be programmed to: receive the ambient sounds captured by the audio sensor; detect presence of a speech in the ambient sounds; convert the detected speech to text; detect a rare word in the speech; retrieve auxiliary information associated with the rare word; and cause the AR display to render the retrieved auxiliary information.

[0006] In some embodiments, a method can be performed under control of an augmented reality (AR) device comprising a hardware processor and an AR display configured to present virtual content in an environment of a user. The method comprises monitoring the environment of the user of the AR device; detecting presence of an object of interest in the environment based on contextual information associated with at least one of the user or the environment; retrieving auxiliary information for the object of interest; determining a display position of the auxiliary information in a field of view of the user, wherein the field of view comprises a portion of the environment which a user can perceive at a given time; and causing the AR display to render the auxiliary information at the display position.

[0007] Details of one or more implementations of the subject matter described in this specification are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims. Neither this summary nor the following detailed description purports to define or limit the scope of the inventive subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIG. 1 depicts an illustration of a mixed reality scenario with certain virtual reality objects, and certain physical objects viewed by a person.

[0009] FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an example of a wearable system which can implement an embodiment of a word flow annotation system.

[0010] FIG. 3 schematically illustrates aspects of an approach for simulating three-dimensional imagery using multiple depth planes.

[0011] FIG. 4 schematically illustrates an example of a waveguide stack for outputting image information to a user.

[0012] FIG. 5 shows example exit beams that may be outputted by a waveguide.

[0013] FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram showing an optical system including a waveguide apparatus, an optical coupler subsystem to optically couple light to or from the waveguide apparatus, and a control subsystem, used in the generation of a multi-focal volumetric display, image, or light field.

[0014] FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an example of a wearable system.

[0015] FIG. 8 is a process flow diagram of an example of a method of rendering virtual content in relation to recognized objects.

[0016] FIG. 9 is a block diagram of another example of a wearable system that includes an embodiment of a word flow annotation system.

[0017] FIG. 10 is a process flow diagram of an example of a method for determining user input to a wearable system.

[0018] FIG. 11 is a process flow diagram of an example of a method for interacting with a virtual user interface.

[0019] FIG. 12 schematically illustrates an overall system view depicting multiple user devices interacting with each other.

[0020] FIGS. 13A-13G illustrate examples of interacting with an object of interest and auxiliary information of the object of interest.

[0021] FIGS. 14A and 14B show an example process of annotating a speech.

[0022] FIG. 15 illustrates an example process of interacting with an object of interest and auxiliary information of the object of interest.

[0023] FIGS. 16A and 16B illustrate an example of threads identification based on keywords.

[0024] FIG. 17 illustrates an example process of threads identification.

[0025] Throughout the drawings, reference numbers may be re-used to indicate correspondence between referenced elements. The drawings are provided to illustrate example embodiments described herein and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Overview

[0026] It is common in everyday speech in the modern world to encounter names or references which are new to a listener because they refer to uncommon ideas or concepts, ideas or concepts from a specific problem domain, or because they are proper references to persons or things unknown to the listener. A listener may not know certain words simply due to a lack of familiarity or knowledge. Naturally, this can impede conversation, and lead to embarrassment, confusion, or misunderstanding.

[0027] It may be desirable to have an augmented reality system which can provide explanation or information on new or unknown words in (or near) real-time with a minimal level of distraction to, and an insignificant level of effort by, a listener.

[0028] The present disclosure discloses examples of such desirable systems in the context of an augmented reality device (ARD). Such a device can allow a user to visually receive information which is provided by a computing device in such a manner that the information is simultaneously viewable alongside (or on top of) the normally viewable real world. Such a system can be used to display any form of information that can be displayed on a traditional computer screen such as characters, image effects, text, graphics, or video of any kind. The ARD can include an AR display which can be a see-through display worn in front of the eye or eyes or a VR display. The ARD can also include an audio sensor which can capture audio information, including speech by the user or other persons in the user’s environment.

[0029] The ARD can implement a word flow annotation system. The world flow annotation system can combine speech recognition, rare word detection, and display capability of an ARD to provide a user with auxiliary information appropriate to the word or to the user. As an example, the ARD for a first user can receive the audio information via a network during a telepresence session in which the first user is communicating with a second user. The word flow annotation system can detect speech in the audio information from the second user and can convert detected speech to text, search for a rare word in the converted text, and retrieve auxiliary information associated with a detected rare word. The ARD can display the auxiliary information on an AR display of the ARD. The system can also dismiss the display of the auxiliary information after a threshold time period has elapsed or when the system detects another rare word, which advantageously may reduce the level of distraction to the first user while still providing helpful auxiliary information about the rare word. For rare dictionary words, the meaning (e.g., a definition) of the word can be displayed. For rare proper nouns (e.g., geographical regions, names of persons, etc.), relevant information from an appropriate source (e.g., an encyclopedia) can be displayed. The kinds of annotations that the system can provide can be as unlimited as the vast array of available information resources, e.g., on the Internet. In some implementations, the system displays the converted text (additionally or alternatively to the information about the rare words) to the wearer of the display, e.g., in the form of a caption or a speech bubble (also sometimes referred to as a call-out box) near the speaker of the text. In some implementations, the display of the auxiliary information is visual (e.g., the captions or speech bubbles previously mentioned); however, in other implementations, additionally or alternatively to the visual display, the auxiliary information can be presented audibly to the user (which may be advantageous for visually impaired users).

[0030] In addition to or as an alternative to rare words, similar techniques can also be applied to other keywords, even though some of these keywords may not be rare. The ARD can detect an object of interest in the user’s environment (e.g., an object which a user does not typically encounter) and display auxiliary information relating to the object of interest. The keywords and the rare words described herein can include a single word, a phrase, or a sentence.

[0031] Further, a conversation often involves multiple topics. The ARD can identify the keywords in a conversation and identify topics in the conversation based on keywords. The ARD can separate texts associated with the conversation into different contextual threads with each thread corresponding to one or more topics. Advantageously, this can facilitate a user’s understanding of ideas and points involved in a conversation, because the ARD can provide a user interface (UI) that presents the different contextual threads differently (e.g., on opposing sides of the AR display).

Examples of 3D Display of a Wearable System

[0032] A wearable system (also referred to herein as an augmented reality (AR) system) can be configured to present 2D or 3D virtual images to a user. The images may be still images, frames of a video, or a video, in combination or the like. At least a portion of the wearable system can be implemented on a wearable device that can present a VR, AR, or MR environment, alone or in combination, for user interaction. The wearable device can be a head-mounted device (HMD) which is used interchangeably as an AR device (ARD). Further, for the purpose of the present disclosure, the term “AR” is used interchangeably with the term “MR”.

[0033] FIG. 1 depicts an illustration of a mixed reality scenario with certain virtual reality objects, and certain physical objects viewed by a person. In FIG. 1, an MR scene 100 is depicted wherein a user of an MR technology sees a real-world park-like setting 110 featuring people, trees, buildings in the background, and a concrete platform 120. In addition to these items, the user of the MR technology also perceives that he “sees” a robot statue 130 standing upon the real-world platform 120, and a cartoon-like avatar character 140 flying by which seems to be a personification of a bumble bee, even though these elements do not exist in the real world.

[0034] In order for the 3D display to produce a true sensation of depth, and more specifically, a simulated sensation of surface depth, it may be desirable for each point in the display’s visual field to generate an accommodative response corresponding to its virtual depth. If the accommodative response to a display point does not correspond to the virtual depth of that point, as determined by the binocular depth cues of convergence and stereopsis, the human eye may experience an accommodation conflict, resulting in unstable imaging, harmful eye strain, headaches, and, in the absence of accommodation information, almost a complete lack of surface depth.

[0035] VR, AR, and MR experiences can be provided by display systems having displays in which images corresponding to a plurality of depth planes are provided to a viewer. The images may be different for each depth plane (e.g., provide slightly different presentations of a scene or object) and may be separately focused by the viewer’s eyes, thereby helping to provide the user with depth cues based on the accommodation of the eye required to bring into focus different image features for the scene located on different depth plane or based on observing different image features on different depth planes being out of focus. As discussed elsewhere herein, such depth cues provide credible perceptions of depth.

[0036] FIG. 2 illustrates an example of wearable system 200 which can be configured to provide an AR/VR/MR scene and can include embodiments of the word flow annotation system described herein. The wearable system 200 can also be referred to as the AR system 200. The wearable system 200 includes a display 220, and various mechanical and electronic modules and systems to support the functioning of display 220. The display 220 may be coupled to a frame 230, which is wearable by a user, wearer, or viewer 210. The display 220 can be positioned in front of the eyes of the user 210. The display 220 can present AR/VR/MR content to a user. The display 220 can comprise a head mounted display that is worn on the head of the user. In some embodiments, a speaker 240 is coupled to the frame 230 and positioned adjacent the ear canal of the user (in some embodiments, another speaker, not shown, is positioned adjacent the other ear canal of the user to provide for stereo/shapeable sound control). The display 220 can include an audio sensor (e.g., a microphone) 232 for detecting an audio stream from the environment and capture ambient sound. In some embodiments, one or more other audio sensors, not shown, are positioned to provide stereo sound reception. Stereo sound reception can be used to determine the location of a sound source. The wearable system 200 can perform voice or speech recognition on the audio stream.

[0037] The wearable system 200 can include an outward-facing imaging system 464 (shown in FIG. 4) which observes the world in the environment around the user. The wearable system 200 can also include an inward-facing imaging system 462 (shown in FIG. 4) which can track the eye movements of the user. The inward-facing imaging system may track either one eye’s movements or both eyes’ movements. The inward-facing imaging system 462 may be attached to the frame 230 and may be in electrical communication with the processing modules 260 or 270, which may process image information acquired by the inward-facing imaging system to determine, e.g., the pupil diameters or orientations of the eyes, eye movements or eye pose of the user 210.

[0038] As an example, the wearable system 200 can use the outward-facing imaging system 464 or the inward-facing imaging system 462 to acquire images of a pose of the user. The images may be still images, frames of a video, or a video.

[0039] The display 220 can be operatively coupled 250, such as by a wired lead or wireless connectivity, to a local data processing module 260 which may be mounted in a variety of configurations, such as fixedly attached to the frame 230, fixedly attached to a helmet or hat worn by the user, embedded in headphones, or otherwise removably attached to the user 210 (e.g., in a backpack-style configuration, in a belt-coupling style configuration).

[0040] The local processing and data module 260 may comprise a hardware processor, as well as digital memory, such as non-volatile memory (e.g., flash memory), both of which may be utilized to assist in the processing, caching, and storage of data. The data may include data a) captured from sensors (which may be, e.g., operatively coupled to the frame 230 or otherwise attached to the user 210), such as image capture devices (e.g., cameras in the inward-facing imaging system or the outward-facing imaging system), audio sensors (e.g., microphones), inertial measurement units (IMUs), accelerometers, compasses, global positioning system (GPS) units, radio devices, or gyroscopes; or b) acquired or processed using remote processing module 270 or remote data repository 280, possibly for passage to the display 220 after such processing or retrieval. The local processing and data module 260 may be operatively coupled by communication links 262 or 264, such as via wired or wireless communication links, to the remote processing module 270 or remote data repository 280 such that these remote modules are available as resources to the local processing and data module 260. In addition, remote processing module 280 and remote data repository 280 may be operatively coupled to each other.

[0041] In some embodiments, the remote processing module 270 may comprise one or more processors configured to analyze and process data or image information. In some embodiments, the remote data repository 280 may comprise a digital data storage facility, which may be available through the internet or other networking configuration in a “cloud” resource configuration. In some embodiments, all data is stored and all computations are performed in the local processing and data module, allowing fully autonomous use from a remote module.

[0042] The human visual system is complicated and providing a realistic perception of depth is challenging. Without being limited by theory, it is believed that viewers of an object may perceive the object as being three-dimensional due to a combination of vergence and accommodation. Vergence movements (i.e., rolling movements of the pupils toward or away from each other to converge the lines of sight of the eyes to fixate upon an object) of the two eyes relative to each other are closely associated with focusing (or “accommodation”) of the lenses of the eyes. Under normal conditions, changing the focus of the lenses of the eyes, or accommodating the eyes, to change focus from one object to another object at a different distance will automatically cause a matching change in vergence to the same distance, under a relationship known as the “accommodation-vergence reflex.” Likewise, a change in vergence will trigger a matching change in accommodation, under normal conditions. Display systems that provide a better match between accommodation and vergence may form more realistic and comfortable simulations of three-dimensional imagery.

[0043] FIG. 3 illustrates aspects of an approach for simulating a three-dimensional imagery using multiple depth planes. With reference to FIG. 3, objects at various distances from eyes 302 and 304 on the z-axis are accommodated by the eyes 302 and 304 so that those objects are in focus. The eyes 302 and 304 assume particular accommodated states to bring into focus objects at different distances along the z-axis. Consequently, a particular accommodated state may be said to be associated with a particular one of depth planes 306, which has an associated focal distance, such that objects or parts of objects in a particular depth plane are in focus when the eye is in the accommodated state for that depth plane. In some embodiments, three-dimensional imagery may be simulated by providing different presentations of an image for each of the eyes 302 and 304, and also by providing different presentations of the image corresponding to each of the depth planes. While shown as being separate for clarity of illustration, it will be appreciated that the fields of view of the eyes 302 and 304 may overlap, for example, as distance along the z-axis increases. In addition, while shown as flat for the ease of illustration, it will be appreciated that the contours of a depth plane may be curved in physical space, such that all features in a depth plane are in focus with the eye in a particular accommodated state. Without being limited by theory, it is believed that the human eye typically can interpret a finite number of depth planes to provide depth perception. Consequently, a highly believable simulation of perceived depth may be achieved by providing, to the eye, different presentations of an image corresponding to each of these limited number of depth planes.

Waveguide Stack Assembly

[0044] FIG. 4 illustrates an example of a waveguide stack for outputting image information to a user. A wearable system 400 includes a stack of waveguides, or stacked waveguide assembly 480 that may be utilized to provide three-dimensional perception to the eye/brain using a plurality of waveguides 432b, 434b, 436b, 438b, 4400b. In some embodiments, the wearable system 400 may correspond to wearable system 200 of FIG. 2, with FIG. 4 schematically showing some parts of that wearable system 200 in greater detail. For example, in some embodiments, the waveguide assembly 480 may be integrated into the display 220 of FIG. 2.

[0045] With continued reference to FIG. 4, the waveguide assembly 480 may also include a plurality of features 458, 456, 454, 452 between the waveguides. In some embodiments, the features 458, 456, 454, 452 may be lenses. In other embodiments, the features 458, 456, 454, 452 may not be lenses. Rather, they may simply be spacers (e.g., cladding layers or structures for forming air gaps).

[0046] The waveguides 432b, 434b, 436b, 438b, 440b or the plurality of lenses 458, 456, 454, 452 may be configured to send image information to the eye with various levels of wavefront curvature or light ray divergence. Each waveguide level may be associated with a particular depth plane and may be configured to output image information corresponding to that depth plane. Image injection devices 420, 422, 424, 426, 428 may be utilized to inject image information into the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b, each of which may be configured to distribute incoming light across each respective waveguide, for output toward the eye 410. Light exits an output surface of the image injection devices 420, 422, 424, 426, 428 and is injected into a corresponding input edge of the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b. In some embodiments, a single beam of light (e.g., a collimated beam) may be injected into each waveguide to output an entire field of cloned collimated beams that are directed toward the eye 410 at particular angles (and amounts of divergence) corresponding to the depth plane associated with a particular waveguide.

[0047] In some embodiments, the image injection devices 420, 422, 424, 426, 428 are discrete displays that each produce image information for injection into a corresponding waveguide 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b, respectively. In some other embodiments, the image injection devices 420, 422, 424, 426, 428 are the output ends of a single multiplexed display which may, e.g., pipe image information via one or more optical conduits (such as fiber optic cables) to each of the image injection devices 420, 422, 424, 426, 428.

[0048] A controller 460 controls the operation of the stacked waveguide assembly 480 and the image injection devices 420, 422, 424, 426, 428. The controller 460 includes programming (e.g., instructions in a non-transitory computer-readable medium) that regulates the timing and provision of image information to the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b. In some embodiments, the controller 460 may be a single integral device, or a distributed system connected by wired or wireless communication channels. The controller 460 may be part of the processing modules 260 or 270 (illustrated in FIG. 2) in some embodiments.

[0049] The waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b may be configured to propagate light within each respective waveguide by total internal reflection (TIR). The waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b may each be planar or have another shape (e.g., curved), with major top and bottom surfaces and edges extending between those major top and bottom surfaces. In the illustrated configuration, the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b may each include light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a that are configured to extract light out of a waveguide by redirecting the light, propagating within each respective waveguide, out of the waveguide to output image information to the eye 410. Extracted light may also be referred to as outcoupled light, and light extracting optical elements may also be referred to as outcoupling optical elements. An extracted beam of light is outputted by the waveguide at locations at which the light propagating in the waveguide strikes a light redirecting element. The light extracting optical elements (440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a) may, for example, be reflective or diffractive optical features. While illustrated disposed at the bottom major surfaces of the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b for ease of description and drawing clarity, in some embodiments, the light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a may be disposed at the top or bottom major surfaces, or may be disposed directly in the volume of the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b. In some embodiments, the light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a may be formed in a layer of material that is attached to a transparent substrate to form the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b. In some other embodiments, the waveguides 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b may be a monolithic piece of material and the light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a may be formed on a surface or in the interior of that piece of material.

[0050] With continued reference to FIG. 4, as discussed herein, each waveguide 440b, 438b, 436b, 434b, 432b is configured to output light to form an image corresponding to a particular depth plane. For example, the waveguide 432b nearest the eye may be configured to deliver collimated light, as injected into such waveguide 432b, to the eye 410. The collimated light may be representative of the optical infinity focal plane. The next waveguide up 434b may be configured to send out collimated light which passes through the first lens 452 (e.g., a negative lens) before it can reach the eye 410. First lens 452 may be configured to create a slight convex wavefront curvature so that the eye/brain interprets light coming from that next waveguide up 434b as coming from a first focal plane closer inward toward the eye 410 from optical infinity. Similarly, the third up waveguide 436b passes its output light through both the first lens 452 and second lens 454 before reaching the eye 410. The combined optical power of the first and second lenses 452 and 454 may be configured to create another incremental amount of wavefront curvature so that the eye/brain interprets light coming from the third waveguide 436b as coming from a second focal plane that is even closer inward toward the person from optical infinity than was light from the next waveguide up 434b.

[0051] The other waveguide layers (e.g., waveguides 438b, 440b) and lenses (e.g., lenses 456, 458) are similarly configured, with the highest waveguide 440b in the stack sending its output through all of the lenses between it and the eye for an aggregate focal power representative of the closest focal plane to the person. To compensate for the stack of lenses 458, 456, 454, 452 when viewing/interpreting light coming from the world 470 on the other side of the stacked waveguide assembly 480, a compensating lens layer 430 may be disposed at the top of the stack to compensate for the aggregate power of the lens stack 458, 456, 454, 452 below. Such a configuration provides as many perceived focal planes as there are available waveguide/lens pairings. Both the light extracting optical elements of the waveguides and the focusing aspects of the lenses may be static (e.g., not dynamic or electro-active). In some alternative embodiments, either or both may be dynamic using electro-active features.

[0052] With continued reference to FIG. 4, the light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a may be configured to both redirect light out of their respective waveguides and to output this light with the appropriate amount of divergence or collimation for a particular depth plane associated with the waveguide. As a result, waveguides having different associated depth planes may have different configurations of light extracting optical elements, which output light with a different amount of divergence depending on the associated depth plane. In some embodiments, as discussed herein, the light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a may be volumetric or surface features, which may be configured to output light at specific angles. For example, the light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a may be volume holograms, surface holograms, and/or diffraction gratings. Light extracting optical elements, such as diffraction gratings, are described in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2015/0178939, published Jun. 25, 2015, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0053] In some embodiments, the light extracting optical elements 440a, 438a, 436a, 434a, 432a are diffractive features that form a diffraction pattern, or “diffractive optical element” (also referred to herein as a “DOE”). Preferably, the DOE has a relatively low diffraction efficiency so that only a portion of the light of the beam is deflected away toward the eye 410 with each intersection of the DOE, while the rest continues to move through a waveguide via total internal reflection. The light carrying the image information can thus be divided into a number of related exit beams that exit the waveguide at a multiplicity of locations and the result is a fairly uniform pattern of exit emission toward the eye 304 for this particular collimated beam bouncing around within a waveguide.

[0054] In some embodiments, one or more DOEs may be switchable between “on” state in which they actively diffract, and “off” state in which they do not significantly diffract. For instance, a switchable DOE may comprise a layer of polymer dispersed liquid crystal, in which microdroplets comprise a diffraction pattern in a host medium, and the refractive index of the microdroplets can be switched to substantially match the refractive index of the host material (in which case the pattern does not appreciably diffract incident light) or the microdroplet can be switched to an index that does not match that of the host medium (in which case the pattern actively diffracts incident light).

[0055] In some embodiments, the number and distribution of depth planes or depth of field may be varied dynamically based on the pupil sizes or orientations of the eyes of the viewer. Depth of field may change inversely with a viewer’s pupil size. As a result, as the sizes of the pupils of the viewer’s eyes decrease, the depth of field increases such that one plane that is not discernible because the location of that plane is beyond the depth of focus of the eye may become discernible and appear more in focus with reduction of pupil size and commensurate with the increase in depth of field. Likewise, the number of spaced apart depth planes used to present different images to the viewer may be decreased with the decreased pupil size. For example, a viewer may not be able to clearly perceive the details of both a first depth plane and a second depth plane at one pupil size without adjusting the accommodation of the eye away from one depth plane and to the other depth plane. These two depth planes may, however, be sufficiently in focus at the same time to the user at another pupil size without changing accommodation.

[0056] In some embodiments, the display system may vary the number of waveguides receiving image information based upon determinations of pupil size or orientation, or upon receiving electrical signals indicative of particular pupil size or orientation. For example, if the user’s eyes are unable to distinguish between two depth planes associated with two waveguides, then the controller 460 (which may be an embodiment of the local processing and data module 260) can be configured or programmed to cease providing image information to one of these waveguides. Advantageously, this may reduce the processing burden on the system, thereby increasing the responsiveness of the system. In embodiments in which the DOEs for a waveguide are switchable between the on and off states, the DOEs may be switched to the off state when the waveguide does receive image information.

[0057] In some embodiments, it may be desirable to have an exit beam meet the condition of having a diameter that is less than the diameter of the eye of a viewer. However, meeting this condition may be challenging in view of the variability in size of the viewer’s pupils. In some embodiments, this condition is met over a wide range of pupil sizes by varying the size of the exit beam in response to determinations of the size of the viewer’s pupil. For example, as the pupil size decreases, the size of the exit beam may also decrease. In some embodiments, the exit beam size may be varied using a variable aperture.

[0058] The wearable system 400 can include an outward-facing imaging system 464 (e.g., a digital camera) that images a portion of the world 470. This portion of the world 470 may be referred to as the field of view (FOV) of a world camera and the imaging system 464 is sometimes referred to as an FOV camera. The FOV of the world camera may or may not be the same as the FOV of a viewer 210 which encompasses a portion of the world 470 the viewer 210 perceives at a given time. For example, in some situations, the FOV of the world camera may be larger than the viewer 210 of the viewer 210 of the wearable system 400. The entire region available for viewing or imaging by a viewer may be referred to as the field of regard (FOR). The FOR may include 4.pi. steradians of solid angle surrounding the wearable system 400 because the wearer can move his body, head, or eyes to perceive substantially any direction in space. In other contexts, the wearer’s movements may be more constricted, and accordingly the wearer’s FOR may subtend a smaller solid angle. Images obtained from the outward-facing imaging system 464 can be used to track gestures made by the user (e.g., hand or finger gestures), detect objects in the world 470 in front of the user, and so forth.

[0059] The wearable system 400 can include an audio sensor 232, e.g., a microphone, to capture ambient sound. As described above, in some embodiments, one or more other audio sensors can be positioned to provide stereo sound reception useful to the determination of location of a speech source. The audio sensor 232 can comprise a directional microphone, as another example, which can also provide such useful directional information as to where the audio source is located. The wearable system 400 can use information from both the outward-facing imaging system 464 and the audio sensor 230 in locating a source of speech, or to determine an active speaker at a particular moment in time, etc. For example, the wearable system 400 can use the voice recognition alone or in combination with a reflected image of the speaker (e.g., as seen in a mirror) to determine the identity of the speaker. As another example, the wearable system 400 can determine a position of the speaker in an environment based on sound acquired from directional microphones. The wearable system 400 can parse the sound coming from the speaker’s position with speech recognition algorithms to determine the content of the speech and use voice recognition techniques to determine the identity (e.g., name or other demographic information) of the speaker.

[0060] The wearable system 400 can also include an inward-facing imaging system 466 (e.g., a digital camera), which observes the movements of the user, such as the eye movements and the facial movements. The inward-facing imaging system 466 may be used to capture images of the eye 410 to determine the size and/or orientation of the pupil of the eye 304. The inward-facing imaging system 466 can be used to obtain images for use in determining the direction the user is looking (e.g., eye pose) or for biometric identification of the user (e.g., via iris identification). In some embodiments, at least one camera may be utilized for each eye, to separately determine the pupil size or eye pose of each eye independently, thereby allowing the presentation of image information to each eye to be dynamically tailored to that eye. In some other embodiments, the pupil diameter or orientation of only a single eye 410 (e.g., using only a single camera per pair of eyes) is determined and assumed to be similar for both eyes of the user. The images obtained by the inward-facing imaging system 466 may be analyzed to determine the user’s eye pose or mood, which can be used by the wearable system 400 to decide which audio or visual content should be presented to the user. The wearable system 400 may also determine head pose (e.g., head position or head orientation) using sensors such as IMUs, accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc.

[0061] The wearable system 400 can include a user input device 466 by which the user can input commands to the controller 460 to interact with the wearable system 400. For example, the user input device 466 can include a trackpad, a touchscreen, a joystick, a multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) controller, a capacitive sensing device, a game controller, a keyboard, a mouse, a directional pad (D-pad), a wand, a haptic device, a totem (e.g., functioning as a virtual user input device), and so forth. A multi-DOF controller can sense user input in some or all possible translations (e.g., left/right, forward/backward, or up/down) or rotations (e.g., yaw, pitch, or roll) of the controller. A multi-DOF controller which supports the translation movements may be referred to as a 3DOF while a multi-DOF controller which supports the translations and rotations may be referred to as 6DOF. In some cases, the user may use a finger (e.g., a thumb) to press or swipe on a touch-sensitive input device to provide input to the wearable system 400 (e.g., to provide user input to a user interface provided by the wearable system 400). The user input device 466 may be held by the user’s hand during the use of the wearable system 400. The user input device 466 can be in wired or wireless communication with the wearable system 400.

[0062] FIG. 5 shows an example of exit beams outputted by a waveguide. One waveguide is illustrated, but it will be appreciated that other waveguides in the waveguide assembly 480 may function similarly, where the waveguide assembly 480 includes multiple waveguides. Light 520 is injected into the waveguide 432b at the input edge 432c of the waveguide 432b and propagates within the waveguide 432b by TIR. At points where the light 520 impinges on the DOE 432a, a portion of the light exits the waveguide as exit beams 510. The exit beams 510 are illustrated as substantially parallel but they may also be redirected to propagate to the eye 410 at an angle (e.g., forming divergent exit beams), depending on the depth plane associated with the waveguide 432b. It will be appreciated that substantially parallel exit beams may be indicative of a waveguide with light extracting optical elements that outcouple light to form images that appear to be set on a depth plane at a large distance (e.g., optical infinity) from the eye 410. Other waveguides or other sets of light extracting optical elements may output an exit beam pattern that is more divergent, which would require the eye 410 to accommodate to a closer distance to bring it into focus on the retina and would be interpreted by the brain as light from a distance closer to the eye 410 than optical infinity.

[0063] FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram showing an optical system including a waveguide apparatus, an optical coupler subsystem to optically couple light to or from the waveguide apparatus, and a control subsystem, used in the generation of a multi-focal volumetric display, image, or light field. The optical system can include a waveguide apparatus, an optical coupler subsystem to optically couple light to or from the waveguide apparatus, and a control subsystem. The optical system can be used to generate a multi-focal volumetric, image, or light field. The optical system can include one or more primary planar waveguides 632a (only one is shown in FIG. 6) and one or more DOEs 632b associated with each of at least some of the primary waveguides 632a. The planar waveguides 632b can be similar to the waveguides 432b, 434b, 436b, 438b, 440b discussed with reference to FIG. 4. The optical system may employ a distribution waveguide apparatus to relay light along a first axis (vertical or Y-axis in view of FIG. 6), and expand the light’s effective exit pupil along the first axis (e.g., Y-axis). The distribution waveguide apparatus may, for example, include a distribution planar waveguide 622b and at least one DOE 622a (illustrated by double dash-dot line) associated with the distribution planar waveguide 622b. The distribution planar waveguide 622b may be similar or identical in at least some respects to the primary planar waveguide 632b, having a different orientation therefrom. Likewise, at least one DOE 622a may be similar to or identical in at least some respects to the DOE 632a. For example, the distribution planar waveguide 622b or DOE 622a may be comprised of the same materials as the primary planar waveguide 632b or DOE 632a, respectively. Embodiments of the optical display system 600 shown in FIG. 6 can be integrated into the wearable system 200 shown in FIG. 2.

[0064] The relayed and exit-pupil expanded light may be optically coupled from the distribution waveguide apparatus into the one or more primary planar waveguides 632b. The primary planar waveguide 632b can relay light along a second axis, preferably orthogonal to first axis (e.g., horizontal or X-axis in view of FIG. 6). Notably, the second axis can be a non-orthogonal axis to the first axis. The primary planar waveguide 632b expands the light’s effective exit pupil along that second axis (e.g., X-axis). For example, the distribution planar waveguide 622b can relay and expand light along the vertical or Y-axis, and pass that light to the primary planar waveguide 632b which can relay and expand light along the horizontal or X-axis.

[0065] The optical system may include one or more sources of colored light (e.g., red, green, and blue laser light) 610 which may be optically coupled into a proximal end of a single mode optical fiber 640. A distal end of the optical fiber 640 may be threaded or received through a hollow tube 642 of piezoelectric material. The distal end protrudes from the tube 642 as fixed-free flexible cantilever 644. The piezoelectric tube 642 can be associated with four quadrant electrodes (not illustrated). The electrodes may, for example, be plated on the outside, outer surface or outer periphery or diameter of the tube 642. A core electrode (not illustrated) may also be located in a core, center, inner periphery or inner diameter of the tube 642.

[0066] Drive electronics 650, for example electrically coupled via wires 660, drive opposing pairs of electrodes to bend the piezoelectric tube 642 in two axes independently. The protruding distal tip of the optical fiber 644 has mechanical modes of resonance. The frequencies of resonance can depend upon a diameter, length, and material properties of the optical fiber 644. By vibrating the piezoelectric tube 642 near a first mode of mechanical resonance of the fiber cantilever 644, the fiber cantilever 644 can be caused to vibrate, and can sweep through large deflections.

[0067] By stimulating resonant vibration in two axes, the tip of the fiber cantilever 644 is scanned biaxially in an area filling two-dimensional (2D) scan. By modulating an intensity of light source(s) 610 in synchrony with the scan of the fiber cantilever 644, light emerging from the fiber cantilever 644 can form an image. Descriptions of such a set up are provided in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2014/0003762, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0068] A component of an optical coupler subsystem can collimate the light emerging from the scanning fiber cantilever 644. The collimated light can be reflected by mirrored surface 648 into the narrow distribution planar waveguide 622b which contains the at least one diffractive optical element (DOE) 622a. The collimated light can propagate vertically (relative to the view of FIG. 6) along the distribution planar waveguide 622b by TIR, and in doing so repeatedly intersects with the DOE 622a. The DOE 622a preferably has a low diffraction efficiency. This can cause a fraction (e.g., 10%) of the light to be diffracted toward an edge of the larger primary planar waveguide 632b at each point of intersection with the DOE 622a, and a fraction of the light to continue on its original trajectory down the length of the distribution planar waveguide 622b via TIR.

[0069] At each point of intersection with the DOE 622a, additional light can be diffracted toward the entrance of the primary waveguide 632b. By dividing the incoming light into multiple outcoupled sets, the exit pupil of the light can be expanded vertically by the DOE 622a in the distribution planar waveguide 622b. This vertically expanded light coupled out of distribution planar waveguide 622b can enter the edge of the primary planar waveguide 632b.

[0070] Light entering primary waveguide 632b can propagate horizontally (relative to the view of FIG. 6) along the primary waveguide 632b via TIR. As the light intersects with DOE 632a at multiple points as it propagates horizontally along at least a portion of the length of the primary waveguide 632b via TIR. The DOE 632a may advantageously be designed or configured to have a phase profile that is a summation of a linear diffraction pattern and a radially symmetric diffractive pattern, to produce both deflection and focusing of the light. The DOE 632a may advantageously have a low diffraction efficiency (e.g., 10%), so that only a portion of the light of the beam is deflected toward the eye of the view with each intersection of the DOE 632a while the rest of the light continues to propagate through the primary waveguide 632b via TIR.

[0071] At each point of intersection between the propagating light and the DOE 632a, a fraction of the light is diffracted toward the adjacent face of the primary waveguide 632b allowing the light to escape the TIR, and emerge from the face of the primary waveguide 632b. In some embodiments, the radially symmetric diffraction pattern of the DOE 632a additionally imparts a focus level to the diffracted light, both shaping the light wavefront (e.g., imparting a curvature) of the individual beam as well as steering the beam at an angle that matches the designed focus level.

[0072] Accordingly, these different pathways can cause the light to be coupled out of the primary planar waveguide 632b by a multiplicity of DOEs 632a at different angles, focus levels, or yielding different fill patterns at the exit pupil. Different fill patterns at the exit pupil can be beneficially used to create a light field display with multiple depth planes. Each layer in the waveguide assembly or a set of layers (e.g., 3 layers) in the stack may be employed to generate a respective color (e.g., red, blue, green). Thus, for example, a first set of three adjacent layers may be employed to respectively produce red, blue and green light at a first focal depth. A second set of three adjacent layers may be employed to respectively produce red, blue and green light at a second focal depth. Multiple sets may be employed to generate a full 3D or 4D color image light field with various focal depths.

Other Components of the Wearable System

[0073] In many implementations, the wearable system may include other components in addition or in alternative to the components of the wearable system described above. The wearable system may, for example, include one or more haptic devices or components. The haptic devices or components may be operable to provide a tactile sensation to a user. For example, the haptic devices or components may provide a tactile sensation of pressure or texture when touching virtual content (e.g., virtual objects, virtual tools, other virtual constructs). The tactile sensation may replicate a feel of a physical object which a virtual object represents, or may replicate a feel of an imagined object or character (e.g., a dragon) which the virtual content represents. In some implementations, haptic devices or components may be worn by the user (e.g., a user wearable glove). In some implementations, haptic devices or components may be held by the user.

[0074] The wearable system may, for example, include one or more physical objects which are manipulable by the user to allow input or interaction with the wearable system. These physical objects may be referred to herein as totems. Some totems may take the form of inanimate objects, such as for example, a piece of metal or plastic, a wall, a surface of table. In certain implementations, the totems may not actually have any physical input structures (e.g., keys, triggers, joystick, trackball, rocker switch). Instead, the totem may simply provide a physical surface, and the wearable system may render a user interface so as to appear to a user to be on one or more surfaces of the totem. For example, the wearable system may render an image of a computer keyboard and trackpad to appear to reside on one or more surfaces of a totem. For example, the wearable system may render a virtual computer keyboard and virtual trackpad to appear on a surface of a thin rectangular plate of aluminum which serves as a totem. The rectangular plate does not itself have any physical keys or trackpad or sensors. However, the wearable system may detect user manipulation or interaction or touches with the rectangular plate as selections or inputs made via the virtual keyboard or virtual trackpad. The user input device 466 (shown in FIG. 4) may be an embodiment of a totem, which may include a trackpad, a touchpad, a trigger, a joystick, a trackball, a rocker or virtual switch, a mouse, a keyboard, a multi-degree-of-freedom controller, or another physical input device. A user may use the totem, alone or in combination with poses, to interact with the wearable system or other users.

[0075] Examples of haptic devices and totems usable with the wearable devices, HMD, and display systems of the present disclosure are described in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2015/0016777, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

Example Wearable Systems, Environments,* and Interfaces*

[0076] A wearable system may employ various mapping related techniques in order to achieve high depth of field in the rendered light fields. In mapping out the virtual world, it is advantageous to know all the features and points in the real world to accurately portray virtual objects in relation to the real world. To this end, FOV images captured from users of the wearable system can be added to a world model by including new pictures that convey information about various points and features of the real world. For example, the wearable system can collect a set of map points (such as 2D points or 3D points) and find new map points to render a more accurate version of the world model. The world model of a first user can be communicated (e.g., over a network such as a cloud network) to a second user so that the second user can experience the world surrounding the first user.

[0077] FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an example of an MR environment 700. The MR environment 700 may be configured to receive input (e.g., visual input 702 from the user’s wearable system, stationary input 704 such as room cameras, sensory input 706 from various sensors, gestures, totems, eye tracking, user input from the user input device 466 etc.) from one or more user wearable systems (e.g., wearable system 200 or display system 220) or stationary room systems (e.g., room cameras, etc.). The wearable systems can use various sensors (e.g., accelerometers, gyroscopes, temperature sensors, movement sensors, depth sensors, GPS sensors, inward-facing imaging system, outward-facing imaging system, etc.) to determine the location and various other attributes of the environment of the user. This information may further be supplemented with information from stationary cameras in the room that may provide images or various cues from a different point of view. The image data acquired by the cameras (such as the room cameras and/or the cameras of the outward-facing imaging system) may be reduced to a set of mapping points.

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