In this paper, is proposed a smart design for a two-dimensional (2-D) optical display using 2-D laser scanning and an electronically programmable three-dimensional (3-D) beamforming lens element. Specifically, an electronically controlled variable focal length lens (ECVFL) adjusts its focus power to produce the smallest focused beam spot on the display screen within the designed variable screen distance range. Since the screen distance is known, the angular scan range for the scan mirrors can be computed to generate the desired number of scanned spots in the 2-D display. Thus a smart display with the smallest pixel spot size is formed leading to the highest spatial resolution display for any given distance. Furthermore, if the scan angles are increased, a larger size display of higher pixel count can be formed without sacrificing display pixel size at this larger display size. A proof-of-concept smart display optics system is designed and demonstrated for a red 633-nm laser wavelength and an optimal display variable screen distance of 20–150 cm, giving optimized display pixel sizes of 51.92 and 538.1 µm, respectively.
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