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Virtual Display Beams Images Directly into the Eye

Researchers have developed a display that beams full-color images directly onto your retina.

VRD animation.

VRD animation.
Credit and Larger Version

June 3, 2004

Researchers at the Human Interface Lab of the University of Washington have developed a novel display system. The device beams images directly onto the human retina, in full color and at VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels). Using a low power laser, the device scans line after line of an image directly onto the back of the eye at such a fast rate that the complete image refreshes 72 times per second, fast enough for a movie.

The team, led by Eric Seibel, is working to develop a 3D system that scans an image into both eyes resulting in high-resolution, full color, 3D displays.

The animations depict what the researchers believe a low-vision subject will see with their assistive device. The animations were created by Quinn Smithwick of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory.

 -- Josh Chamot

Eric Seibel

Related Institutions/Organizations
University of Washington


Related Programs
Engineering Design

Related Awards
#9703598 Optimization Studies for Applications of a Scanned Light Display
#9801294 SGER: Decision-Based Engineering Design for a Low Vision Aid Using the Virtual Retinal Display

Total Grants

Related Websites
Eric Seibel's website:
Human Interface Technology Laboratory:
Virtual Retinal display website:

an image from the VRD being scanned
This screenshot from an animation shows an image from the VRD being scanned into the eye.
Credit and Larger Version

the VRD projecting a laser beam
This screenshot from an animation shows the VRD projecting a laser beam carrying the video image.
Credit and Larger Version