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The Display That Watches You

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Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems researchers have developed a new screen technology that uses interlacing photodetector cells and display pixels to simultaneously display a moving image while detecting movement directly in front of the system. Tracking a person's eye movements while looking at the screen could allow for eye-tracking control, instead of hand controls or another input method, enabling users to scroll through menu options on screen by looking at the edge of the screen. The researchers also say this technology could eventually be incorporated into augmented-reality systems.

"We can present an image and, at the same time, track the movement of the user's eye," says Fraunhofer's Michael Scholles. "This is of great interest for all kinds of applications where your hands are needed for something else, like a pilot flying an aircraft or a surgeon wanting to access vital parameters while performing a surgery."

The researchers developed the system by first designing a light-sensing chip that features a pattern of evenly spaced photodetectors. A wafer containing several of the chips was placed in a deposition chamber, where layers of organic material were deposited between the photodetectors. The layers compose the organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that create the display. The current version features a monochromatic display with a resolution of 320 by 240 pixels.

Scholles says full-color displays are possible but more difficult because it would involve adding color filters to white OLEDs, which are hard to make and somewhat unreliable.

From Technology Review
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