“RETISSA Display”, the world's first implementation of VISIRIUM Technology, a laser-based retinal projection technologyQD Laser Inc.
Retina scanning laser eyewear “RETISSA Display”. Looks like ordinary sunglasses
Points to remember
- VISIRIUM Technology that scans the retina using weak laser and projects images
- RETISSA Display is the world's first commercial product with a retinal projection system using a laser
- VISIRIUM Technology promoted for the research and development of both medical care and welfare use and consumers
Founded in 2006, QD Laser Inc. is engaged in business focusing on the development of laser technology including quantum dot laser technology. Among them, one was the development of a projector that uses a laser as the light source. However, when they wanted to increase the laser output for projecting beautiful images on the wall surface, the projector did not meet the requirements of laser safety regulations.
This gave rise to a reverse idea. Since high power laser beams are not allowed to be used indoors, is it possible project directly to the eye? In this case, weak laser beams will give better results.
The company started the research and development around five years back based on this idea, and established and commercialized the retinal projection technology “VISIRIUM Technology” about three years ago.
Usually, “Seeing” is to focus on what you want to see with the lens of the eye and connect the images to the retina, which acts as a screen or film. Though the focus is on the object to be seen, objects in the background and foreground are not in focus, and they appear blurred.
On the other hand, the retinal projection technology converges the light from the light source with the lens and projects it on the retina. Therefore, it is possible to see objects in a state that is not affected by the focus adjustment function of the lens. VISIRIUM Technology developed by the company uses the principle of retinal projection technology to project images on the retina by scanning them with a weak laser beam using a miniature projector.
“RETISSA Display” is the world's first commercially-available retinal scanning laser eyewear to implement VISIRIUM Technology. A miniature laser projector is inbuilt in a frame that is similar to eyeglasses and connected by an optical fiber cable to the control box storing the laser module. When a computer, smartphone, or tablet, is connected to the control box, digital images are projected to one eye. The object to be seen is projected directly to the retina in a state where it is not affected by the focus adjustment function of the lens, forming a clear image regardless of visual acuity.
Control box of the initial prototype of RETISSA Display was of A4 size and weighed over 7 kg. The latest prototype consists of eyeglasses weighing approximately 60 g and a palm-sized controller weighing about 460 g, and the device has been improved making it lightweight and compact so that it can be used continuously for a long duration without any hindrance. It has been designed similar to ordinary eyeglasses and sunglasses and can be used by anyone, anytime and anywhere.
Although retinal projection technology is used for various research and development, it has high affinity with AR (Augmented Reality). AR is used primarily to project content onto a semi-transparent virtual screen and integrate it with the real world. In other words, it is necessary to focus on the virtual screen to see AR contents. When adjusting the focus using eyes, it is required to move the focus each time when shifting from AR content to see the real world. This causes eyestrain, and simultaneously seeing the real field of view at the front and back of the screen becomes difficult.
VISIRIM Technology projects content directly onto the retina enabling the user to see both the content and real world clearly. In other words, AR can be superimposed naturally onto the real world.
As a result, RETISSA Display has attracted the attention of companies interested in retinal projection technology for fields such as AR application development and for providing support to work. Since retinal scanning technology was not sold as a product and limited to laboratory systems and prototypes, research and development are expected to advance in the future by using RETISSA Display.
RETISSA Display is not a medical device.
However, the company has started the development of a medical model aimed at providing visual support to visually handicapped persons, and on February 21, 2019, the company has begun preparations, such as applying for the approval to manufacture and market the medical device.
The company will continue to pursue research and development to realize an “Easy-to-see eyewear for everyone”.
Interview Date: February 28, 2019
Fujitsu Laboratories and Tokyo University are involved in joint development between industry and academia to develop, manufacture and sell high performance semiconductor lasers including a quantum dot laser operating at 1300nm beyond visible light wavelengths. “Through light, the world is evolving.” Our corporate catchphrase reflects our determination to improve society through laser and optical technologies.
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