Sony Patent | Information detection apparatus, video projection apparatus, information detection method, and video projection method

Patent: Information detection apparatus, video projection apparatus, information detection method, and video projection method

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Publication Number: 20210041693

Publication Date: 20210211

Applicant: Sony

Assignee: Sony Corporation

Abstract

It is an object to provide a new technique for detecting information of a line-of-sight direction, a pupil position, or the like. The present technology provides an information detection apparatus including: an irradiation unit that irradiates an eyeball with light; a scanning mirror that scans reflected light from the eyeball; and a detection unit that detects the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror. The present technology also provides a video projection apparatus including those constituent elements. In addition, the present technology also provides an information detection method including: irradiating an eyeball with light; scanning reflected light from the eyeball by a scanning mirror; and detecting the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror. The present technology also provides a video projection method including those steps.

Claims

  1. An information detection apparatus, comprising: an irradiation unit that irradiates an eyeball with light; a scanning mirror that scans reflected light from the eyeball; and a detection unit that detects the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror.

  2. The information detection apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a controller that performs estimation processing for a pupil position or a line-of-sight direction of the eyeball on a basis of the reflected light detected by the detection unit.

  3. The information detection apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the controller estimates the pupil position or the line-of-sight direction of the eyeball on a basis of a scanning oscillation angle of the scanning mirror and the reflected light detected by the detection unit.

  4. The information detection apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the controller estimates the pupil position or the line-of-sight direction of the eyeball on a basis of a scanning oscillation angle of the scanning mirror and an intensity of the reflected light detected by the detection unit.

  5. The information detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the irradiation unit is configured to irradiate the eyeball with the light without the scanning mirror.

  6. The information detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the irradiation unit is configured to irradiate the eyeball with the light via the scanning mirror.

  7. The information detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the light for irradiating the eyeball is non-visible light.

  8. The information detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the light for irradiating the eyeball is infrared light.

  9. The information detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the light for irradiating the eyeball is beam-like light.

  10. A video projection apparatus, comprising: an irradiation unit that irradiates an eyeball with light; a scanning mirror that scans reflected light from the eyeball; a detection unit that detects the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror; a controller that performs estimation processing for a pupil position of the eyeball on a basis of the reflected light detected by the detection unit; and a video display light irradiation unit that irradiates the pupil position estimated by the controller with video display light such that the video display light passes through the pupil position.

  11. The video projection apparatus according to claim 10, wherein the video display light is condensed in a vicinity of a pupil, and a retina is irradiated with the video display light.

  12. The video projection apparatus according to claim 10, wherein the eyeball is irradiated with the video display light via the scanning mirror.

  13. The video projection apparatus according to claim 10, wherein the video projection apparatus is an eyewear display.

  14. An information detection method, comprising: irradiating an eyeball with light; scanning reflected light from the eyeball by a scanning mirror; and detecting the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror.

  15. A video projection method, comprising: irradiating an eyeball with light; scanning reflected light from the eyeball by a scanning mirror; detecting the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror; estimating a pupil position of the eyeball on a basis of the reflected light detected in the detection step; and irradiating the pupil position estimated in the estimation step with video display light such that the video display light passes through the pupil position.

Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present technology relates to an information detection apparatus, a video projection apparatus, an information detection method, and a video projection method. More specifically, the present technology relates to an information detection apparatus, a video projection apparatus, an information detection method, and a video projection method that are capable of detecting a pupil position.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] In recent years, attention has been paid to the technology of displaying a video superimposed on an outside scene such as a real scene. This technology is also referred to as augmented reality (AR) technology. One example of a product using this technology is a head-mounted display. The head-mounted display is used by being worn on a user’s head. In an image display method using the head-mounted display, for example, the eyes of the user are irradiated with light from the head-mounted display in addition to light from the outside, whereby a video is superimposed on an image of the outside for display.

[0003] In order to present a video to the user by the head-mounted display, a line-of-sight direction or a pupil position of the user may be grasped. Regarding the technology for grasping a line-of-sight direction or a pupil position of a user, for example, Patent Literature 1 below describes a scanning display device characterized by incorporating a line-of-sight detecting device for detecting a line-of-sight direction of a user while sharing an optical system of the scanning display device. In addition, a pupil detection device described in Patent Literature 2 below includes a detection unit that detects, as a reflected light flux intensity signal, the intensity of a light flux reflected on the surface of an eyeball among light fluxes incident on the surface of the eyeball, and a processing unit that obtains the position of the pupil on the basis of a change in the intensity of the reflected light flux represented by an intensity signal output from the detection unit. In addition, a focal length control device for a camera described in Patent Literature 3 below is characterized by including, in a camera including line-of-sight detecting means for detecting which part of the viewfinder a photographer is looking at on the basis of the line-of-sight direction of the photographer, means for confirming the line-of-sight direction of the photographer in the viewfinder field detected by the line-of-sight detecting means and for setting a focal length value of the camera on the basis of a result of the confirmation.

CITATION LIST

Patent Literature

[0004] Patent Literature 1: Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2003-029198 [0005] Patent Literature 2: Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2006-058505 [0006] Patent Literature 3: Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. HEI 05-317260

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

Technical Problem

[0007] The head-mounted display is used by being worn on the head of a user and is thus expected for further miniaturization. The head-mounted display is also expected for further reduction in power consumption.

[0008] It is an object of the present technology to provide a new technique for detecting information such as a line-of-sight direction or a pupil position. In particular, it is an object of the present technology to reduce the size and/or reduce the power consumption of an apparatus for detecting such information.

Solution to Problem

[0009] The present technology provides an information detection apparatus, including: an irradiation unit that irradiates an eyeball with light; a scanning mirror that scans reflected light from the eyeball; and a detection unit that detects the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror.

[0010] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the information detection apparatus may further include a controller that performs estimation processing for a pupil position or a line-of-sight direction of the eyeball on the basis of the reflected light detected by the detection unit.

[0011] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the controller may estimate the pupil position or the line-of-sight direction of the eyeball on the basis of a scanning oscillation angle of the scanning mirror and the reflected light detected by the detection unit.

[0012] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the controller may estimate the pupil position or the line-of-sight direction of the eyeball on the basis of a scanning oscillation angle of the scanning mirror and an intensity of the reflected light detected by the detection unit.

[0013] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the irradiation unit may be configured to irradiate the eyeball with the light without the scanning mirror.

[0014] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the irradiation unit may be configured to irradiate the eyeball with the light via the scanning mirror.

[0015] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the light for irradiating the eyeball may be non-visible light.

[0016] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the light for irradiating the eyeball may be infrared light.

[0017] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the light for irradiating the eyeball may be beam-like light.

[0018] In addition, the present technology provides a video projection apparatus including: an irradiation unit that irradiates an eyeball with light; a scanning mirror that scans reflected light from the eyeball; a detection unit that detects the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror; a controller that performs estimation processing for a pupil position of the eyeball on the basis of the reflected light detected by the detection unit; and a video display light irradiation unit that irradiates the pupil position estimated by the controller with video display light such that the video display light passes through the pupil position.

[0019] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the video display light may be condensed in a vicinity of a pupil, and a retina may be irradiated with the video display light.

[0020] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the eyeball may be irradiated with the video display light via the scanning mirror.

[0021] According to an embodiment of the present technology, the video projection apparatus may be an eyewear display.

[0022] In addition, the present technology provides an information detection method including: irradiating an eyeball with light; scanning reflected light from the eyeball by a scanning mirror; and detecting the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror.

[0023] In addition, the present technology provides a video projection method including: irradiating an eyeball with light; scanning reflected light from the eyeball by a scanning mirror; detecting the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror; estimating a pupil position of the eyeball on the basis of the reflected light detected in the detection step; and irradiating the pupil position estimated in the estimation step with video display light such that the video display light passes through the pupil position.

Advantageous Effects of Invention

[0024] In the present technology, the reflected light from the eyeball is detected via the scanning mirror. Thus, the size and power consumption of the detection unit can be reduced.

[0025] Note that the effects exerted by the present technology are not necessarily limited to the effects described herein, and any of the effects described herein may be exerted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0026] FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an information detection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0027] FIG. 2 is a diagram showing an example of a scanning line of a scanning mirror.

[0028] FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an information detection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0029] FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0030] FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0031] FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0032] FIG. 7 is a diagram showing an example of a flow of an information detection method according to the present technology.

[0033] FIG. 8 is a diagram showing an example of a flow of a video projection method according to the present technology.

[0034] FIG. 9 is a diagram showing an example of a head-mounted display according to the present technology.

[0035] FIG. 10 is a diagram showing an example of a head-mounted display according to the present technology.

[0036] FIG. 11 is a diagram showing a configuration example of an information detection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0037] FIG. 12 is a graph showing a relationship between light intensity and a scanning oscillation angle.

[0038] FIG. 13 is a diagram showing a configuration example of an information detection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0039] FIG. 14 is a graph showing a relationship between the light intensity and the scanning oscillation angle.

[0040] FIG. 15 is a diagram showing a configuration example of an information detection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0041] FIG. 16 is a graph showing a relationship between the light intensity and the scanning oscillation angle.

[0042] FIG. 17 is a diagram showing a configuration example of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0043] FIG. 18 is a diagram showing a configuration example of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology.

[0044] FIG. 19 is a diagram showing a configuration example of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology.

MODE(S)* FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION*

[0045] Hereinafter, suitable embodiments for carrying out the present technology will be described. Note that the embodiments to be described below show representative embodiments of the present technology, and the scope of the present technology is not limited to these embodiments. Note that the description of the present technology will be given in the following order.

[0046] 1. First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)

[0047] (1) Description of First Embodiment

[0048] (2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)

[0049] (3) Second Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)

[0050] 2. Second Embodiment (Video Projection Apparatus)

[0051] (1) Description of Second Embodiment

[0052] (2) First Example of Second Embodiment (Video Projection Apparatus)

[0053] (3) Second Example of Second Embodiment (Video Projection Apparatus)

[0054] (4) Third Example of Second Embodiment (Video Projection Apparatus)

[0055] 3. Third Embodiment (Information Detection Method)

[0056] (1) Description of Third Embodiment

[0057] (2) Example of Third Embodiment (Information Detection Method)

[0058] 4. Fourth Embodiment (Video Projection Method)

[0059] (1) Description of Fourth Embodiment

[0060] (2) Example of Fourth Embodiment (Video Projection Method)

[0061] 5. Configuration Examples of Apparatus

[0062] 6. Examples

[0063] (1) Example 1 (Simulation of First Example of First Embodiment)

[0064] (2) Example 2 (Simulation of Second Example of First Embodiment

[0065] (3) Example 3 (Simulation of Second Example of First Embodiment)

[0066] (4) Example 4 (Simulation of First Example of Second Embodiment)

[0067] (5) Example 5 (Simulation of Second Example of Second Embodiment)

[0068] (6) Example 6 (Simulation of Third Example of Second Embodiment)

  1. First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)

(1) Description of First Embodiment

[0069] An information detection apparatus according to the present technology includes an irradiation unit that irradiates an eyeball with light, a scanning mirror that scans reflected light from the eyeball, and a detection unit that detects the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror. That is, the reflected light from the eyeball reaches the detection unit via the scanning mirror. As a result, information regarding the eyeball, for example, information regarding a line-of-sight direction, a pupil position, or the like can be detected on the basis of the detected reflected light.

[0070] In addition, since the reflected light from the eyeball reaches the detection unit via the scanning mirror as described above, the scanning mirror is driven, and thus the reflected light from various positions of the eyeball can be detected by, for example, one light detection element. Thus, it is possible to reduce the size of the detection unit. In addition, since the number of light detection elements constituting the detection unit of the apparatus according to the present technology may be small, the apparatus has less power consumption.

[0071] In addition, as described above, since the reflected light from the eyeball reaches the detection unit via the scanning mirror, a noise component such as ambient light or stray light can be eliminated.

[0072] In the line-of-sight detecting device described in Patent Literature 1, for example, four infrared sensors are provided on a concave mirror in front of the eye in order to detect infrared rays reflected on the eyeball. Each of the plurality of infrared sensors detects infrared rays reflected on the eyeball. The device then detects the position of the eyeball on the basis of a plurality of detected values. However, in such a detection method, the detection accuracy is not sufficient in some cases. In addition, since the device includes the plurality of infrared sensors, the power consumption thereof is large.

[0073] In the information detection apparatus according to the present technology, the light reflected on the eyeball reaches the detection unit via the scanning mirror. That is, the information detection apparatus according to the present technology can detect reflected light from various positions of the eyeball. Thus, the information detection apparatus according to the present technology has high detection accuracy. In addition, the information detection apparatus according to the present technology can detect reflected light from various positions of the eyeball by using, for example, one light detection element by driving the scanning mirror. Thus, the information detection apparatus according to the present technology has small power consumption.

[0074] The pupil detection device described in Patent Literature 2 described above scans infrared rays and irradiates the eye with the infrared rays. Patent Literature 2 discloses a pupil detection unit that receives infrared light reflected on an eye through a condensing lens. However, when receiving the infrared light through the condenser lens, the device is susceptible to ambient light or stray light.

[0075] Also in the focal length control device described in Patent Literature 3, infrared light reflected on the eyeball is condensed by a light receiving lens. Thus, the device is also susceptible to ambient light or stray light.

[0076] In a case where light detection is performed using the information detection apparatus according to the present technology, the reflected light from the eyeball reaches the detection unit via the scanning mirror. That is, the angle of the light reaching the detection unit is limited. Thus, using the information detection apparatus according to the present technology can lead to a reduction in the influence of a noise component such as ambient light or stray light, for example.

[0077] (2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)

[0078] Hereinafter, an example of the information detection apparatus according to the present technology will be described with reference to FIG. 1. FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of the information detection apparatus according to the present technology. In the schematic diagram, the traveling direction of light for performing information detection by using the information detection apparatus is indicated by arrows.

[0079] As shown in FIG. 1, an information detection apparatus 100 includes an irradiation unit 101, a light guide unit 102, a scanning mirror 103, a detection unit 104, and a controller 105.

[0080] The irradiation unit 101 irradiates an eyeball 150 with light 161. The light 161 to be emitted is used to detect information regarding the eyeball. The light 161 to be emitted is favorably non-visible light, more favorably infrared light. If the light to be emitted is non-visible light, especially infrared light, the burden on the eye at the time of information detection is reduced. In addition, such light reduces the impact on an outside scene or video recognized by the user.

[0081] For example, if the information detection apparatus 100 is a glasses-like apparatus, for example, the irradiation unit 101 may be attached to any position of a rim or lens of the glasses-like apparatus or may be formed as a part of the rim or lens.

[0082] The irradiation unit 101 may be provided such that the light 161 passes through the light guide unit 102 and reaches the eyeball 150. For example, the irradiation unit 101 may be provided on the surface opposite to the eyeball-side surface of the rim or the lens of the glasses-like apparatus. Alternatively, the irradiation unit 101 may be provided such that the light 161 reaches the eyeball 150 without passing through the light guide unit 102. In this case, for example, the irradiation unit 101 may be provided on the eyeball side of the rim or lens of the glasses-like apparatus. The irradiation unit 101 may be, for example, a planar light source.

[0083] The eyeball is favorably irradiated with the light 161 as parallel light. This allows more accurate information detection. For example, in a case where the irradiation unit 101 is configured such that the light 161 passes through the light guide unit 102 and reaches the eyeball 150, the light guide unit 102 may collimate the light 161. Alternatively, for example, in a case where the irradiation unit 101 is provided such that the light 161 reaches the eyeball 150 without passing through the light guide unit 102, the irradiation unit 101 itself may be configured to output the light 161 as parallel light.

[0084] The eyeball 150 is irradiated with the light 161 emitted by the irradiation unit 101 only through the light guide unit 102. That is, the eyeball 150 is irradiated with the light 161 without the scanning mirror 103. Thus, the emitted light 161 is not affected by the reflectance of the scanning mirror 103.

[0085] The light guide unit 102 may have a characteristic of transmitting the light 161 emitted from the irradiation unit 101. In addition, the light guide unit 102 may have a characteristic of reflecting reflected light 162 from the eyeball toward the scanning mirror 103. Examples of the light guide unit having such characteristics may include a holographic optical element.

[0086] In a case where the light emitted from the irradiation unit 101 is not parallel light, the light guide unit 102 may favorably have an optical characteristic of collimating the light.

[0087] For example, in a case where the information detection apparatus 100 is a glasses-like apparatus, for example, the light guide unit 102 may be a lens itself of the glasses-like apparatus or may be configured as a part of the lens.

[0088] The scanning mirror 103 may be, for example, a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) mirror. The scanning mirror 103 scans the reflected light 162 from the eyeball, which is reflected by the light guide unit 102. The scanning mirror 103 is driven to change the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 103, and thus the reflected light 162 reflected at various positions of the eyeball 150 is reflected by the scanning mirror 103 and proceeds to the detection unit 104.

[0089] The scanning mirror 103 may be configured to cause the reflected light 162 reflected by the light guide unit 102 to reach the detection unit 104. In order to cause the reflected light 162 reflected by the light guide unit 102 to reach the scanning mirror 103, an optical system may be appropriately provided on the path of the reflected light between the light guide unit 102 and the scanning mirror 103. In addition, in order to cause the reflected light 162 reflected by the scanning mirror 103 to reach the detection unit 104, an optical system may be appropriately provided also on the path of the reflected light between the scanning mirror 103 and the detection unit 104.

[0090] For example, in a case where the information detection apparatus 100 is a glasses-like apparatus, the scanning mirror 103 may be attached to any position of a temple 111 of the glasses-like apparatus or may be provided so as to be included in the temple.

[0091] In the present technology, scanning may include guiding the reflected light, which is reflected at various reflection positions of an eyeball, to a predetermined light detection element by the scanning mirror. For example, in the present technology, scanning includes guiding the reflected light, which is reflected at each reflection position from a certain point of the eyeball to another point thereof, to a light detection element by driving the scanning mirror. The reflection position of the reflected light guided to the light detection element may be moved one-dimensionally or may also be moved two-dimensionally. Favorably, the reflection position of the reflected light guided to the light detection element may be moved two-dimensionally.

[0092] This allows the information regarding the eyeball to be more accurately grasped.

[0093] FIG. 2 shows an example of a scanning line of the scanning mirror 103. As shown in FIG. 2, the position of the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror moves from a position “a” to a position “b” by driving the scanning mirror 103. The position of the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror then moves from a position “c” to a position “d”. Similarly, the position of the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror moves from a position “e” to a position “f”, from a position “g” to a position “h”, from a position “i” to a position “j”, and from a position “k” to a position “1”. In such a manner, the reflection position of the reflected light scanned by the scanning mirror 103 may be moved two-dimensionally. The reflected light reflected on the eyeball (or pupil) 150 is detected on the scanning line from the position “e” to the position “f” and on the scanning line from the position “g” to the position “h”. In response to a change in the position of the eyeball 150, the scanning line on which the reflected light reflected on the eyeball 150 is detected, or the position on the scanning line may be changed.

[0094] The detection unit 104 detects the reflected light 162 reflected by the scanning mirror 103. The detection unit 104 includes, for example, a photodiode. The type of the detection unit 104 may be appropriately selected by a person skilled in the art depending on the type of light to be detected. For example, if the reflected light 162 is infrared light, the detection unit 104 includes an infrared sensor.

[0095] The detection unit 104 may detect the intensity of the reflected light 162, for example. The intensity of the reflected light 162 differs depending on the position of the eyeball 150 on which the reflected light 162 is reflected. For example, the intensity of the reflected light reflected at the pupil portion is different from the intensity of the reflected light reflected at the iris portion. In addition, the intensity of the reflected light reflected on the surface (e.g., cornea) of the eyeball is stronger than the intensity of scattered light reflected on the fundus (e.g., retina) of the eyeball. Thus, the pupil position and/or the line-of-sight direction can be estimated on the basis of the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 103 or the scanning oscillation angle and the light intensity detected by the detection unit 104.

[0096] In addition, in another embodiment, the detection unit 104 may generate an image on the basis of the detected reflected light 162. For example, the detection unit 104 may include an image sensor such as a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) or charge-coupled device (CCD), particularly an infrared image sensor, in order to generate an image based on the reflected light 162. For example, the controller 105 performs image processing on the image generated on the basis of the reflected light 162, and thus information regarding the eyeball (e.g., pupil position or line-of-sight direction) may be acquired.

[0097] The detection unit 104 may be connected to the controller 105. Information regarding the light detected by the detection unit 104, such as intensity, may be processed by the controller 105.

[0098] For example, in a case where the information detection apparatus 100 is a glasses-like apparatus, the detection unit 104 may be attached to any position of the temple of the glasses-like apparatus or may be provided so as to be included in the temple.

[0099] The controller 105 may acquire the information regarding the eyeball (e.g., pupil position, line-of-sight direction, or rotation angle of the eyeball) on the basis of the reflected light (e.g., intensity of the reflected light) detected by the detection unit 104. For example, the controller 105 may perform estimation processing for the pupil position or the line-of-sight direction of the eyeball on the basis of the reflected light.

[0100] In addition, the controller 105 may be connected to the scanning mirror 103 so as to be capable of controlling the scanning mirror 103. For example, the controller 105 may drive the scanning mirror 103 within a predetermined scanning oscillation angle. The controller 105 can acquire information regarding the scanning mirror 103, for example, information regarding the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror, the scanning oscillation angle, or the like.

[0101] Favorably, the controller 105 may acquire information regarding the eyeball on the basis of the information regarding the scanning mirror 103 and the information regarding the reflected light detected by the detection unit 104. For example, the controller 105 may perform estimation processing for, for example, the pupil position, the line-of-sight direction, the rotation angle of the eyeball, or the like on the basis of the scanning oscillation angle of the scanning mirror 103 and the reflected light (particularly, the intensity of the reflected light) detected by the detection unit 104.

[0102] The controller 105 may include a processor such as a central processing unit (CPU) and a memory such as a random access memory (RAM) and/or a read-only memory (ROM). The memory may store a program or the like for causing the apparatus to execute an information detection method or a video projection method according to the present technology. The processor may achieve the functions of the controller 105.

[0103] The controller 105 may control the irradiation of light by the irradiation unit 101. For example, the controller 105 may switch on or off the irradiation of light by the irradiation unit 101, or may change the intensity or type of light to be emitted. In addition, the controller 105 may control the driving of the scanning mirror 103. For example, the controller 105 may change the scanning oscillation angle of the scanning mirror 103. In addition, the controller 105 may control detection performed by the detection unit 104. For example, the controller 105 may switch on or off the detection operation performed by the detection unit 104.

[0104] For example, in a case where the information detection apparatus 100 is a glasses-like apparatus, the controller 105 may be provided so as to be included in a temple of the glasses-like apparatus.

[0105] Alternatively, the controller 105 may be provided in an apparatus different from the glasses-like apparatus and may be connected to the glasses-like apparatus by wire or wireless.

[0106] For example, if the surface of the scanning mirror 103 is oriented in a direction as shown on the left in FIG. 1, the reflected light (including, e.g., surface reflected light or corneal reflected light) passing through a position 171 on the eyeball 150 is reflected by the scanning mirror 103 and detected by the detection unit 104. If the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 103 is changed to the direction shown on the right in FIG. 1, the reflected light (e.g., scattered light reflected on the iris) passing through a position 172 on the eyeball 150 is reflected by the scanning mirror 103 and detected by the detection unit 104. The intensity of the reflected light passing through the position 171 and the intensity of the reflected light passing through the position 172 are different from each other. In such a manner, the reflection position on the eyeball 150 of the reflected light reaching the detection unit 104 differs depending on the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 103. Thus, if the scanning mirror 103 is driven, information regarding the reflected light reflected at various positions on the eyeball 150 can be acquired.

[0107] The acquired information regarding the reflected light corresponds to, for example, the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 103 or the scanning oscillation angle. Thus, the information regarding the eyeball 150 can be acquired on the basis of the acquired information regarding the light, and the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 103 or the scanning oscillation angle.

[0108] In addition, unlike the case of an information detection apparatus 300 to be described below in “(3) Second Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)”, the light from the irradiation unit 101 of the information detection apparatus 100 is emitted onto the eyeball without the scanning mirror or a half mirror. Thus, the utilization efficiency of the light from the irradiation unit 101 of the information detection apparatus 100 can be made higher than that of light from an irradiation unit 301 of the information detection apparatus 300. In addition, the information detection apparatus 100 is not easily affected by stray light caused by the scanning mirror or the half mirror.

[0109] (3) Second Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)

[0110] Hereinafter, another example of the information detection apparatus according to the present technology will be described with reference to FIG. 3. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an information detection apparatus according to the present technology. In the schematic diagram, the traveling direction of light for performing information detection by using the information detection apparatus is indicated by an arrow.

[0111] As shown in FIG. 3, an information detection apparatus 300 includes an irradiation unit 301, a light guide unit 302, a scanning mirror 303, a detection unit 304, and a controller 305. The information detection apparatus 300 further includes a half mirror 306. Of these constituent elements, the scanning mirror 303, the detection unit 304, and the controller 305 are the same as the scanning mirror 103, the detection unit 104, and the controller 105 described above in “(2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)”. The information detection apparatus 100 is configured to irradiate the eyeball with the light emitted by the irradiation unit 101 without the scanning mirror 103, whereas the information detection apparatus 300 irradiates the eyeball with light emitted by the irradiation unit 301 via the scanning mirror 303. Thus, the irradiation unit 301 and the light guide unit 302 will be mainly described below.

[0112] The irradiation unit 301 is configured to irradiate the eyeball with light 361 via the scanning mirror 303. That is, the light 361 is scanned and emitted to the eyeball.

[0113] Favorably, the light 361 may be emitted from the irradiation unit 301 as beam-like light (in particular, laser beam). More favorably, the irradiation unit 301 emits beam-like infrared light. The irradiation unit 301 may emit infrared laser light, for example. This makes it possible to more clearly detect the reflected light coming from the pupil portion, for example. Thus, the pupil position can be estimated more accurately. The light 361 emitted by the irradiation unit 301 is reflected by the half mirror 306 to reach the scanning mirror 303, further reflected by the scanning mirror 303 to reach the light guide unit 302, and further reflected by the light guide unit 302 to reach the eyeball.

[0114] For example, in a case where the information detection apparatus 300 is a glasses-like apparatus, the irradiation unit 301 may be attached to any position of a temple of the glasses-like apparatus. Alternatively, the irradiation unit 301 may be provided so as to be included in the temple. In addition, the irradiation unit 301 may be connected to the controller 305 so as to be controllable by the controller 305.

[0115] The half mirror 306 may have a characteristic of reflecting the light from the irradiation unit 301 and transmitting the reflected light from the eyeball. The detection unit 304 detects reflected light 362 reflected by the scanning mirror 303 and transmitted through the half mirror 306.

[0116] The light guide unit 302 may have a characteristic of reflecting the light 361 emitted from the irradiation unit 301 and reflecting the reflected light 362 from the eyeball. The light guide unit 302 reflects the reflected light 362 from the eyeball toward the scanning mirror 303. Examples of the element having the above characteristics may include a holographic optical element.

[0117] The light guide unit 302 may be, for example, a grating or a grating lens. In a case where the light guide unit 302 is a grating, the light guide unit 302 can selectively reflect only light having a predetermined wavelength. In a case where the light guide unit 302 is a grating lens, the light guide unit 302 can selectively reflect only light having a predetermined wavelength and condense the light toward the eyeball.

[0118] In addition, the information detection apparatus 300 may further include another optical element such as a collimator lens between the scanning mirror 303 and the light guide unit 302.

[0119] The scanning mirror 303 may be, for example, a MEMS mirror. As described above, the scanning mirror 303 scans the light 361 emitted by the irradiation unit 301 and also scans the reflected light 362 reflected on the eyeball. That is, in the information detection apparatus 300 in this example, the reflected light from the eyeball is scanned by the scanning mirror 303 that scans illumination light.

[0120] For example, if the surface of the scanning mirror 303 is oriented in a direction as shown on the left in FIG. 3, the reflected light (e.g., surface reflected light or corneal reflected light) passing through a position 371 on the eyeball is reflected by the scanning mirror 303 and detected by the detector 304. If the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 303 is changed to the direction shown on the right in FIG. 1, the reflected light (e.g., scattered light reflected on the iris) passing through a position 372 on the eyeball is reflected by the scanning mirror 303 and detected by the detector 304. The intensity of the reflected light passing through the position 371 and the intensity of the reflected light passing through the position 372 are different from each other. In such a manner, the reflection position on the eyeball of the reflected light reaching the detection unit 304 differs depending on the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 303. Thus, if the scanning mirror 303 is driven, information regarding the reflected light reflected at various positions on the eyeball can be acquired.

[0121] The acquired information regarding the light corresponds to, for example, the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 303 or the scanning oscillation angle. Thus, various types of information regarding the eyeball can be acquired on the basis of the acquired information regarding the light, and the orientation of the surface of the scanning mirror 303 or the scanning oscillation angle.

[0122] The information detection apparatus 300 includes a common optical system (e.g., scanning mirror) on the path of the light emitted to the eyeball and the reflected light. Thus, the information detection apparatus 300 can be made smaller than the information detection apparatus 100 described above in “(2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)”.

[0123] In addition, the light from the irradiation unit 301 of the information detection apparatus 300 is emitted to the eyeball via the half mirror 306 and the scanning mirror 303. Thus, the light utilization efficiency may be lower than that of the information detection apparatus 100 described above in “(2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)”. However, if the light transmittance or reflectance of each of the half mirror 306 and the scanning mirror 303 is increased, the utilization efficiency of the light can be increased.

  1. Second Embodiment (Video Projection Apparatus)

(1) Description of Second Embodiment

[0124] A video projection apparatus according to the present technology includes a video display light irradiation unit that irradiates a pupil position estimated by the controller with video display light such that the video display light passes through the pupil position, in addition to the constituent elements described above in “1. First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)”.

[0125] The video projection apparatus according to the present technology exhibits the effects described above in “1. First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)”. Furthermore, the video projection apparatus according to the present technology exhibits an effect capable of emitting the video display light to an appropriate position.

[0126] (2) First Example of Second Embodiment (Video Projection Apparatus)

[0127] Hereinafter, an example of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology will be described with reference to FIG. 4. FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of a video projection apparatus according to the present technology. In the schematic diagram, the traveling direction of light for performing information detection by the video projection apparatus and the direction of the video display light are indicated by the arrows of the dotted line.

[0128] As shown in FIG. 4, a video projection apparatus 400 includes an irradiation unit 401, a light guide unit 402, a scanning mirror 403, a detection unit 404, and a controller 405. The video projection apparatus 400 further includes a video display light irradiation unit 420. Of these constituent elements, the irradiation unit 401, the scanning mirror 403, the detection unit 404, and the controller 405 are the same as the irradiation unit 101, the scanning mirror 103, the detection unit 104, and the controller 105 described above in “(2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)” of the Section 1. Thus, the information (e.g., pupil position) as described in “(2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)” of the Section 1 can be detected.

[0129] The video projection apparatus 400 is an apparatus in which the video display light irradiation unit 420 is added to the information detection apparatus 100 described above in “(2) First Example of First Embodiment (Information Detection Apparatus)” of the Section 1. Hereinafter, the light guide unit 402 and the video display light irradiation unit 420 will be mainly described.

[0130] The light guide unit 402 may have a characteristic of transmitting illumination light emitted from the irradiation unit 401 and reflecting reflected light from the eyeball. In a case where the light emitted from the irradiation unit 401 is not parallel light, the light guide unit 402 may favorably have an optical characteristic of collimating the light.

[0131] Furthermore, the light guide unit 402 may have a characteristic of reflecting the video display light emitted by the video display light irradiation unit 420. The light guide unit 402 favorably reflects the video display light such that the video display light emitted from the video display light irradiation unit 420 is condensed in the vicinity of the pupil and emitted to the retina. That is, the light guide unit 402 may diffract the video display light such that the video display light travels straight through the pupil. This makes it possible to present a video to the user by a so-called Maxwellian view. Thus, a clear video can be presented to the user.

[0132] In the present technology, the video display light may be condensed in the vicinity of the pupil, e.g., on the pupil, or may deviate from the pupil by a few mm to a few tens of mm (e.g., 1 mm to 20 mm, particularly 2 mm to 15 mm) in an optical axis direction. Even if the focal point is not on the pupil as in the latter case, the Maxwellian view can be achieved. A shift of the focal point in the optical axis direction allows the user to hardly lose the video even if the video is shifted. More specifically, the video display light may be condensed on the pupil, in a crystalline lens, or between the corneal surface and the pupil.

[0133] For example, in a case where the video projection apparatus 400 is a glasses-like apparatus, the light guide unit 102 may be, for example, a lens itself of the glasses-like apparatus. Alternatively, the light guide unit 102 may be configured as a part of a lens.

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