• Perceptual-driven approach to statically foveated head-mounted displays

      Lyu, P.; Hua, H.; 3D Visualization and Imaging Systems Laboratory, College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona (The Optical Society, 2021)
      A foveated display is a promising technique to realize displays offering both a large field of view (FOV) and high spatial resolution. Although several prior works have attempted to apply a foveation method to the design of a head-mounted display (HMD) system, the common method is based on a dual-resolution dynamic foveation scheme which is inevitably complex and has a high cost due to the requirements for multiple display sources, a 2D steering mechanism, and eye tracker. In this paper, a new perceptual-driven approach to the design of a statically foveated HMD is proposed with the goal of offering a wide FOV across which the degradation of the perceived image resolution is nearly imperceptible or minimal within regions of frequent eye movements. Compared to a dual-resolution discrete and dynamic foveation approach in the prior art, the static foveation approach will not only maintain resolution continuity but also eliminate the need for a scanning mechanism, multiple display sources, and an eyetracker, and therefore minimize hardware complexity. We present the general approach for creating a static foveation scheme, performance metrics for evaluating the perceived image quality, and the process of optimizing a foveation scheme to meet different requirements. Finally, we experimentally demonstrate and validate the proposed foveation scheme using a testbed system. Overall, we demonstrate a statically foveated scheme is capable of offering a display with a total 160° FOV, a constant resolution of 0.5 or 1 arcminutes per pixel within the ±10° region where frequent eye movements occur, an adequate resolution no less than 45% of peak resolution within the parafovea region of ±30°, and a data sampling efficiency as high as 90%. © 2021 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement.