Stereo display with time-multiplexed focal adjustment

David M. Hoffman, Philip J.W. Hands, Andrew K. Kirby, Gordon D. Love, Martin S. Banks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


In stereo displays, binocular disparity creates a striking impression of depth. However, such displays present focus cues-blur and accommodation-that specify a different depth than disparity, thereby causing a conflict. This conflict causes several problems including misperception of the 3D layout, difficulty fusing binocular images, and visual fatigue. To address these problems, we developed a display that preserves the advantages of conventional stereo displays, while presenting correct or nearly correct focus cues. In our new stereo display each eye views a display through a lens that switches between four focal distances at very high rate. The switches are synchronized to the display, so focal distance and the distance being simulated on the display are consistent or nearly consistent with one another. Focus cues for points in-between the four focal planes are simulated by using a depth-weighted blending technique. We will describe the design of the new display, discuss the retinal images it forms under various conditions, and describe an experiment that illustrates the effectiveness of the display in maximizing visual performance while minimizing visual fatigue.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationStereoscopic Displays and Applications XX
EditorsAndrew Woods, Nicolas Holliman, John Merritt
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)0277-786X
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2009
EventIS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging - San Jose, United States
Duration: 18 Jan 200922 Jan 2009


ConferenceIS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Stereo display
  • volumetric display
  • focus cues
  • accomodation
  • blur
  • 3D
  • applied optics
  • variable power lens
  • birefringence
  • depth perception

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