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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "3d Image Display Apparatus Including Electrowetting Lens Array and 3d Image Pickup Apparatus Including...

June 4, 2014



Researchers Submit Patent Application, "3d Image Display Apparatus Including Electrowetting Lens Array and 3d Image Pickup Apparatus Including Electrowetting Lens Array", for Approval

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors CHOI, Kyu-hwan (Yongin-si, KR); KIM, Yun-hee (Seoul, KR); KWON, Yong-joo (Yongin-si, KR); BAE, Jung-mok (Seoul, KR); CHOI, Yoon-sun (Yongin-si, KR), filed on May 15, 2013, was made available online on May 22, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Apparatuses consistent with exemplary embodiments relate to a 3-dimensional (3D) image display apparatus and a 3D image pickup apparatus, and more particularly, to an integral imaging type 3D image display apparatus for increasing a depth by using an electrowetting lens array and a 3D image pickup apparatus.

"There is a need, in various fields such as entertainment, gaming, advertising, medicine, education, military, etc., for a 3-dimensional (3D) image display apparatus which further realistically and effectively displays an image. Therefore, various techniques for displaying a 3D image have been suggested, and various types of 3D image display apparatuses have been commercialized.

"A 3D image display apparatus is classified as an glasses type or a glassesless type. The glasses type devices are classified as polarization glasses type devices and shutter glasses type devices. The stereoscopy type of a glassless type device is classified as a lenticular type device, which uses a plurality of cylindrical lens arrays, or a parallax barrier type device having a plurality of barriers and a plurality of openings. However, the above-described devices use binocular parallax. Therefore, the above-described devices are limited in that they cannot provide an increased number of viewpoints. Thus, the depth perception of a user and the users' eye focus may disagree to force the viewer feel fatigue. Also, only horizontal parallax is provided, and vertical parallax is not provided.

"A holographic method and an integral imaging method have each been suggested as a 3D image display methods which cause a viewer's depth perception to agree with the focus of the viewer's eyes and provide full parallax. The holographic method provides a 3D image by interference between a signal beam including an image signal and a reference beam. In the holographic method, a high-priced laser having high coherence is used, and an optical system for forming an image is precisely arranged. Also, noise such as speckles is commonly generated on an image display surface.

"The integral imaging method displays a 3D image by using a fly-eye lens array including a plurality of micro-lens arrays. According to the integral imaging method, color is easily displayed, a continuous viewing angle is provided, and the structure of the optical system is simple. However, the depth perception provided by the 3D image is limited, and the viewing angle is narrow. Therefore, various studies are in progress. For example, there is suggested a method of arraying a plurality of display panels displaying images having different depths at predetermined intervals and a method of using a plurality of polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) films and projectors arrayed at predetermined intervals."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One or more exemplary embodiments provide a direct imaging type 3-dimensional (3D) image display apparatus for increasing depth perception by using an electrowetting lens array and a 3D image pickup apparatus.

"Additional exemplary aspects will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the presented embodiments.

"According to an aspect of an exemplary embodiment, a 3-dimensonal (3D) image display apparatus includes; a display panel including a plurality of pixels; and an electrowetting lens array having an electrically adjustable variable focal distance. The electrowetting lens array may include a plurality of electrowetting lens cells 2-dimensionally arrayed in a fly-eye lens array.

"The display panel sequentially may be configured to display at least two images having different depths. The electrowetting lens array may be configured to sequentially project the at least two images at at least two different focal distances corresponding to the depths of the at least two images.

"When the display panel displays a first image having a first depth, the electrowetting lens array may project the first image at a first focal distance. When the display panel displays a second image having a second depth, the electrowetting lens array may project the second image at a second focal distance. When the display panel displays a third image having a third depth, the electrowetting lens array may project the third image at a third focal distance.

"Each of the electrowetting lens cells may include: lower and upper transparent substrates; vertical barriers erected on an upper surface of the lower transparent substrate and defining a plurality of spaces therebetween; a plurality of electrodes disposed on sidewalls of the vertical barriers; a dielectric layer covering the plurality of electrodes; a hydrophobic coating formed on a surface of the dielectric layer; a plurality of wiring lines disposed on an upper surface of the lower transparent substrate and respectively electrically connected to the plurality of electrodes; a common electrode disposed on a lower surface of the upper transparent substrate; and non-polar and polar liquids disposed in the space enclosed by the vertical barriers.

"The vertical barriers may be disposed in a mesh form and may define a plurality of spaces therein. The plurality of electrodes may include first and second electrodes, and third and fourth electrodes, wherein the first and second electrodes are disposed on vertical barriers extending in a first direction, such that the first and second electrodes face each other across the space, and the third and fourth electrodes are disposed on vertical barriers extending in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction such that the third and fourth electrodes face each other across the space.

"The dielectric layer may have a multilayer structure formed of a plurality of different materials.

"The dielectric layer may include a first layer formed of a fluoropolymer CYTOP.TM. and adjacent to the hydrophobic layer, a second layer formed of HfO.sub.2, and a third layer formed of Mo and adjacent to the electrodes.

"A thickness of the first layer may be about 300 .ANG., a thickness of the second layer may be about 2000 .ANG., and a thickness of the third layer may be about 2000 .ANG.

"The plurality of electrowetting lens cells of the electrowetting lens array may correspond to a plurality of pixels of the display panel on a one-to-one basis.

"According to an aspect of another exemplary embodiment, the present invention, a 3D image pickup apparatus includes: an image pickup device including a plurality of optical sensing pixels; and an electrowetting lens array having an electrically adjustable variable focal distance. The electrowetting lens array may include a plurality of electrowetting lens cells 2-dimensionally arrayed in a fly-eye lens array.

"The electrowetting lens array may be configured to sequentially change the focal distance and form an image of an object on the image pickup device. The image pickup device may be configured to capture a plurality of images of different depths of the object at different focal distances.

"The plurality of electrowetting lens cells of the electrowetting lens array may correspond to a plurality of optical sensing pixels of the image pickup device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"These and/or other exemplary aspects and advantages will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of exemplary embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic view illustrating a structure and an operation of a 3-dimensional (3D) image display apparatus according to an exemplary embodiment;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic cross-sectional view illustrating a structure of an electrowetting lens cell of an electrowetting lens array of FIG. 1;

"FIG. 3 is a schematic view illustrating an arrangement relationship between a barrier and an electrode of FIG. 2;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic partial cross-sectional view illustrating a multilayer structure of a dielectric layer of FIG. 2;

"FIG. 5 is views illustrating an operation of an electrowetting lens cell of FIG. 2; and

"FIG. 6 is a schematic view illustrating a structure and an operation of a 3D image pickup apparatus according to an another exemplary embodiment."

For additional information on this patent application, see: CHOI, Kyu-hwan; KIM, Yun-hee; KWON, Yong-joo; BAE, Jung-mok; CHOI, Yoon-sun. 3d Image Display Apparatus Including Electrowetting Lens Array and 3d Image Pickup Apparatus Including Electrowetting Lens Array. Filed May 15, 2013 and posted May 22, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4580&p=92&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140515.PD.&OS=PD/20140515&RS=PD/20140515

Keywords for this news article include: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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