Facebook Technologies, LLC (Menlo Park, CA)

A illuminator with a switchable fringe pattern includes an optical path switch configured to take in light and to dynamically manage the amount of light provided to a first waveguide as well as the amount of light supplied to a second. The first projector is designed to create a first fringe pattern using light from first waveguide. A first fringe pattern can be utilized to light a specific portion of a targeted area. The second projector can be employed to create a second fringe pattern by using light from the second waveguide. The second fringe pattern is used to illuminate a particular portion of the target area. The illuminator may be part of a depth camera assembly (DCA). The DCA can capture images of a portion of the target area. Based on the captured images, the DCA is able to determine the depth of an object in the targeted area.

Artificial reality systems permit the capture of the surrounding environment around a user in three dimensions (3D). They are able to also monitor the direction of the gaze of the user, along with other data about the eyes. Fringe pattern illumination is a crucial element of any depth camera sensor as it reduces aliasing of images. Local devices for area sensing and eye tracking devices that utilize fringe pattern illumination are large, heavy and consume significant energy. Additionally, traditional fringe pattern illumination devices provide limited field of views and an unassailable fringe spacing. Therefore, illumination devices in the prior art may not be sufficiently compacted or dynamically adjustable.

A compact light projection system is described to be used in artificial reality systems, and which outputs fringe patterned light that can be dynamically adjustable. The light projection system comprises one or more switchable fringe patternilluminators . They may be used in the form of a depth camera assembly (e.g. or as part of a headset). The illuminators with a switchable fringe pattern are described in this article provide flexibility by incorporating components that are dynamically adjustable like phase delay devices,coupling controllers, and switchable light sources which can each be adjustable to control the fringe pattern of interferometric illumination.

The switchable fringe pattern illuminator is equipped with an optical path switch (e.g. Mach-Zehnder-interferometer (MZI), an interferometer with multimode (MMI) built-in switch, a ring-resonator-based one and so on.). The optical path switch is configured to receive light and control dynamically an amount of light provided to a first waveguide as well as the amount of light given to a second waveguide. A first projector configured to create a first fringe pattern using light from firstwaveguide. A first fringe pattern is utilized to light a specific portion of a target area. The second projector can be employed to create a second pattern by using light from the secondwaveguide. The second part of the target is illuminated by the second fringe pattern.

Illuminators are a part of a depth camera assembly (DCA). The DCA could generate instructions and give the instructions to the Illuminator. The DCA also has a camera assembly configured to capture images of a portion ofthe target area. The DCA is further configured to calculate depth information based partly on the images that were taken.

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Begin by writing down a succinct detailed description of your invention. Do not use generic terms such as “device,” “process,” and “system.” Instead, look for synonyms to the terms you chose initially. Next, note important technical terms and key words.

Use the questions below to help you determine key words or concepts.

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  • What are the technical terms and keywords that define the nature of an invention? A technical dictionary can help you find the appropriate words.

2. Use these terms to search for relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications at the Classification Text Search Tool. If you are unable to find the right classification for your invention, scan through the Schemas of classes (class schedules). If you don’t see any results from the Classification Text Search, you might consider substituting your words to describe your invention using synonyms.

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4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to retrieve patent documents that include the CPC classification. By focusing your search on abstracts and drawings that are representative, you can narrow down your search to the relevant patent documents.

5. This selection of patent publication is the best to examine for connections to your idea. Be sure to read the specifications and claims. Contact the applicant as well as the patent examiner for any additional patents.

6. It is possible to find published patent applications that match the CPC classification you picked in Step 3. The same search strategy can be used as Step 4. You can filter your search results in order to locate the most pertinent patent applications by reviewing the abstracts and representative drawings on each page. After that, you must review every patent application that has been published with care with particular attention paid to the claims as well as other drawings.

7. You can search for other US patent publications by keyword searches in AppFT or PatFT databases, and also classification search for non-U.S. Patents as described below. Additionally, you can utilize web search engines to search for non-patent-related patent disclosures in literature about inventions. For instance:

  • Add keywords to your search. Keyword searches may turn up documents that are not well-categorized or have missed classifications during Step 2. For example, US patent examiners often supplement their classification searches with keyword searches. Think about the use of technical engineering terminology rather than everyday words.
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To review your search, you can hire a registered patent attorney to assist. A preliminary search will help one better prepare to talk about their invention and other related inventions with a professional patent attorney. In addition, the attorney will not spend too much time or money on patenting basics.