Facebook Technologies, LLC (Menlo Park, CA)

The embodiments of the invention are generally directed towards methods and systems to switchable electroactive devices that can be used for display heads (HMDs). In particular, a method may include (1) applying an electric field to the electroactive component of an electroactive device through electrodes in the electroactive device which are electrically connected to the electroactive element in order to compress the electroactive element that is a polymer material defining nanovoids, so that the average size of the nanovoids is decreased and the density of nanovoids is increased in the electroactive element. In this embodiment, the electroactive device is located in a different location from the user’s eye, and (2) emitting image light from an emissive device positioned so that at least a portion of the image light is incident on a surface of the electroactive device that is in front of the user’s eyes.

A projector screen is a screen that shows projected images. It may be made from paints, fabric or other materials with granular structure. In certain ways the more granular of the screen, the greater the amount and evenly the screen will scatter light. The Lambertian diffuser is a screen that distributes light evenly. It is a kind of optics. A Lambertian diffuser may be able to evenly distribute light incident on it over a distance of 2.pi. solid angle. This property could be beneficial for projector screens that can be used in home theaters and movie theaters. However, conventionalprojector screens are not necessarily switchable between a transparent state and a reflecting state. These projector screens are utilized in large-scale environments like a home or construction site. They are not typically used in the context of wearable devices.

In greater detail below, the instant disclosure describes switchesable electroactive devices which may be utilized in head-mounted displays (HMDs). One embodiment of a display device comprises an electroactive device situated so that it’s not directly in contact with the eyes of the user when the device is worn. Further the electroactive device can comprise (1) an electroactive element including an electroactive element that comprises apolymer material defining nanovoids as well as (2) electrodes that are electrically connected to the electroactive element and equipped to apply an electrical field to the electroactive element wherein the electroactive element is compressible from an uncompressed stateto one that is compressed by the application of the electric field in such a way as to reduce the size of nanovoids and increase the number of nanovoids that are present in the compressed state. Moreover, an emissive device placed to reflect images onto the surface of the electroactive device in front of the eye of the user. An ultra-short throw projector may be used as an emissive device.

In certain instances the electroactive device might appear substantially opaque in its uncompressed state. The electroactive element could be transparent when compressed. The initial average size of the thenanovoids in the uncompressed electroactive element is approximately the size of the wavelength of light incident. The nanovoids in the electroactive element uncompressed might be as small as one order of the incident light. Additionally, in thecompressed state of the electroactive element, the nanovoids possess a second size average that is significantly smaller than the incident light. The nanovoids of the electroactive element compressed could have an additional average size which is significantly smaller than the wavelength of the incident light.

In certain instances, the display system may also include an eyepiece that is positioned between the eye of the user and the electroactive device. When the eyepiece is in an active state an eyepiece, it can be used to move the focal point of the user’s eye from a fixed plane on the electroactive device. The active state of the eyepiece may be utilized as a virtual reality application. Additionally, the inactive condition of the eyepiece could be used in an AR application or mixed reality application.

In one example eyepieces, there is a proximate eyepiece and the display device could also include a distal eyepiece positioned near an electroactive device, which is in opposition to the eyepiece that is proximate. One instance is that the amount of light scattering incidentally by the electroactive element can be determined at least in part based by one of the following factors: the average size or density of the nanovoids.

In a different embodiment an alternative embodiment, a display device is described. The display system may include an electroactive device that includes an electroactive element and electrodes that are electrically connected to the electroactive element. The display may include a waveguide LCD that is situated between the person wearing the device and the electroactive element. This LCD is able to transmit images to the eyes of the user while the device is in use. The waveguide display can be programmed to function with a light source in some instances. The light source may comprise at least one of the following examples: a micro-light emitting, light emitting, or laser.

The method described is also similar. This may involve applying an electric field to an electrode of an electroactive device to reduce the size of the element. Electroactive devices includes a polymer material that defines nanovoids. The device may be set in a position that is away from user’s eyes. The method can also comprise emitting light from an emissive device positioned such that at least a portion of the image light is incident on the surface of the electroactive device in the direction of the user’s eyes. In certain embodiments, the method may further include reducing the strength of the electrical field applied to the electroactive element in an electroactive device in order to extend the electroactive element from a compressed state to an uncompressed state so that the size of the nanovoids is increased and the quantity of nanovoids is decreased within the electroactive element.

You can combine features from one or more of these embodiments in accordance to the principles set forth herein. The various embodiments, features, and benefits will be thoroughly understood after reading the detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims.

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