Abstract

To enhance the depth rendering ability of augmented reality (AR) display systems, a modulated moiré imaging technique is used to render the true three-dimensional (3D) images for AR display systems. 3D images with continuous depth information and large depth of field are rendered and superimposed on the real scene. The proposed AR system consists of a modulated moiré imaging subsystem and an optical combiner. The modulated moiré imaging subsystem employs modulated point light sources, a display device, and a microlens array to generate 3D images. A defocussing equal period moiré imaging structure is used, which gives a chance for the point light sources to modulate the depth position of 3D images continuously. The principles of the imaging system are deduced analytically. A custom-designed transparent off-axis spherical reflective lens is used as an optical combiner to project the 3D images into the real world. An experimental AR system that provides continuous 3D images with depth information ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 m is made to verify the feasibility of the proposed technique.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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