Holographic super multi-view Maxwellian near-eye display: integrating virtual 3D images with real-world

By integrating digital information with real-world scenes in real-time, augmented reality has become an important technology for enhancing viewing experience and understanding of the real world. At present, near-eye display (NED) is the commonly used tool to realize augmented reality owing to its portability and impact design. Generally, conventional NEDs commonly use lens to provide a virtual image at a fixed plane. However, this approach is often characterized by vergence-accommodation conflict, especially when displaying three-dimensional (3D) images. This undesirable phenomenon is mainly attributed to its inability to provide depth cues.

Although numerous approaches, such as tensor and holographic displays, have been developed to solve the VAC problem and provide depth cues, their display effect is still unsatisfactory. Recently, Maxwellian displays (also called retinal projection display) have drawn considerable research attention owing to their large field of view and high light efficiency. These displays use a narrow beam, allowing it to reduce the effective pupil size, resulting in a significant increase in the depth of the field (DOF). This feature also contributes to solving the VAC problem. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of Maxwellian displays is limited by their narrow eyebox.

Holographic Maxwellian displays based on wave optics have been identified as a promising approach for expanding the eyebox of Maxwellian displays. It allows flexible adjustment of DOF and viewpoint position. Like other Maxwellian displays, however, these holographic Maxwellian displays also fail to provide desirable depth cues for monocular vision. Therefore, developing effective approaches to overcome the above limitations of the previous holographic Maxwellian displays is highly desirable.

To overcome these limitations, Dr. Xu Zhang, Professor Guoqiang Lv and Professor Zi Wang from Hefei University of Technology proposed an innovative holographic super multi-view (SMV) Maxwellian NED. It was based on flexible wavefront modulation. Unlike previous methods, two or more parallax images of 3D objects captured from various viewpoints were prepared. Each image was multiplied with quadric phase distribution and converged to the corresponding viewpoints within the pupil to provide 3D vision. A series of simulations were performed to validate the applicability of the proposed method. Their work is currently published in the journal, Optics Letters.

The authors demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of the presented holographic SMV in solving the inherent challenges associated with previous Maxwellian displays, including providing depth cues for monocular vision. Moreover, its refresh rate was independent of the number of viewpoints. Despite the benefits of this approach, the coherence of the laser source induced serious cross talk between the viewpoints, which could potentially degrade its performance. Therefore, a time division method was proposed to avoid cross talks by destroying the temporal coherence. Furthermore, it provided a large DOF, flexible control of the viewpoint position and the ability to expand the horizontal eyebox through multiple spherical wave encoding.

In summary, this is the first study to report a holographic SMV Maxwellian display. Subsequent experiments demonstrated its ability to accurately reconstruct images at various depths without the effects of cross talk, while providing depth cues. Compared to the geometric optics based on SMV displays, the system proposed here was superior. It only required a single spatial light modulator without additional optical elements to achieve satisfactory compactness without lens aberration. In a statement to Advances in Engineering, Professor Zi Wang said the new method would contribute to designing highly efficient and multi-focal Maxwellian displays for application in augmented reality.

About the author

Zi Wang
Hefei University of Technology, China
Email: [email protected]

Biography: Zi Wang, received B.S. and Ph.D. degree in Physics from University of Science and Technology of China, now works as an associate researcher at Academy of Opto-electric Technology in Hefei University of Technology. At present, he is mainly engaged in the research of holographic near-eye display and light field 3D display. In recent years, he has published more than 30 SCI academic papers in Optics Letters, Optics Express, Applied Physics Letters and other journals.

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=-OVUWqsAAAAJ&hl=zh-CN&oi=sra

About the author

Xu Zhang received the B.S. degree from School of Automation Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (Chengdu, Sichuan), in 2016. And he received the Ph.D. degree in School of Instrumentation and Opto-Electronics Engineering, Hefei University of Technology (Hefei, Anhui), in 2022. Now, he works at Huawei's 2012 laboratories. His research interests focus on the holographic display, near eye display (NED) and head-up display (HUD).


About the author

Guo-qiang Lv received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Department of Optical Instrumentation, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 1983 and 1986, respectively. Since then, he worked in the school of instrumentation, Hefei University of Technology, and became a Professor in 2001. He was a Senior Visiting Scholar with the Institute of Computer Technology, Vienna University of Technology, from 2001 to 2002. Since 2003, he has been the dean of Academy of Opto-electric Technology, Hefei University of Technology. His current research interests include holographic display, and 3-D display.


Zhang, X., Pang, Y., Chen, T., Tu, K., Feng, Q., Lv, G., & Wang, Z. (2022). Holographic Super multi-view Maxwellian near-eye display with eyebox expansion. Optics Letters, 47(10), 2530-2533.

Go To Optics Letters


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