WO1989006852A1 - Method and apparatus for producing a color image - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for producing a color image Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1989006852A1
WO1989006852A1 PCT/US1989/000199 US8900199W WO8906852A1 WO 1989006852 A1 WO1989006852 A1 WO 1989006852A1 US 8900199 W US8900199 W US 8900199W WO 8906852 A1 WO8906852 A1 WO 8906852A1
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Prior art keywords
means
radiation
hue
optical
pixel
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PCT/US1989/000199
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French (fr)
Inventor
Edward Vaughan Stine
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Edward Vaughan Stine
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G3/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes
    • G09G3/20Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G3/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes
    • G09G3/20Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters
    • G09G3/34Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters by control of light from an independent source
    • G09G3/3406Control of illumination source
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2310/00Command of the display device
    • G09G2310/02Addressing, scanning or driving the display screen or processing steps related thereto
    • G09G2310/0235Field-sequential colour display

Abstract

Method and apparatus whereby instantly derived emissions of RGB tri-stimulus optical hues are processed into an istropic field of radiation for directed transmission through one or more selected imaging point or points of an electro-optical imaging screen (121) as one or more unique point-hue pixel or pixels, or as one or more radiant beam portion or portions of an optical composition being imaged. Embodiments of the invention provide for video or other continuous imaging of contiguous pixels from electrical or optical data source signals. A preferred application of an embodiment of the invention is the formation of a composite polychromatic display from non-overlayed, different monochromatic hue-pixel component groups (RBC1-RBC4).

Description

ETHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING A COLOR IMAGE

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of application serial number 769,336 filed August 26, 1985, now United States patent No. 4,720,706, issued January 19, 1988 (the parent application) , the specification and drawings of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention

The present invention is in the field of electro-optical imaging, and more particularly relates to systems for converting electrical signals into chromatic radiation for light-gate array decoding. Brief Description of the Prior Art

The discussion of the prior art in the parent application is incorporated herein by reference.

It is also known to overlay simultaneously complete red, green, and blue projected images onto a reflective surface to perceive a polychromatic composite picture. It is also known to beam sequentially red, green, and blue primary colors to floodlight a pixel-selective reflective surface to yield complete red, green, and blue images of a picture serially presented, similar to the older and well known color-wheel technique. Integration by an observing eye accounts for the perception of a polychromatic composite (see e.g. Ernstoff, et al, U.S. Patent 4,090,219). It is further known to beam light of two or more colors to simultaneously overlay the diffusive back of a transmissive picture device to achieve an entirely monochromatic picture with a hue perceptually different from the color of the beamed light. (See e.g. Stolov, U.S. Patent 4,386,826).

While the ubiquitous CRT provides favorable video imaging, its drawbacks of size, weight, and power are also well known; as is the lack of high video resolution and good polychromaticity seen in the flat panel devices entering the market at present. It is thus an object of tne present invention to overcome many of these problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the method of the invention, electrical signals are encoded into a non-coherent but unique field of optical radiation which is subsequently decoded for coherent imaging. The invention utilizes the attributes of timing and multi-chromaticity (selectable multiple color hues). The terms "optical", "hues", "radiation", and "light", are intended to encompass all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum from the microwave through the x-ray regions, including infrared, visible, and ultraviolet radiations.

In one embodiment of the invention, a plurality of light sources (two or more) of different hues {two or more) , which can include white, are actuated as required to generate different conceived radiant hues within a three-dimensionally confining space. Egress of optical radiation from the space is provided by the opening of one or more binary light-gates ("gate") within a group of otherwise closed "gates" arrayed in a matrix array located within a specified output region designated the "Imaging screen". Predetermined "gates" are opened and closed at times synchronized with the generation of the color hues so as to provide output(s) through the imaging screen surface. When utilized for TV type imaging, timing and refresh techniques may be used so as to preclude visual flicker of the image mosaic.

In another embodiment of the invention, radiant hues themselves are trajected into the three-dimensional confining space; thereby precluding the need for actuating light sources within the invention.

One fundamental object of the invention, among other objects stated herein, is to provide a viable solid-state flat-panel display alternative to the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) which is more efficient in imaging than the CRT while being of substantially less weight and volume. Unlike the CRT, the embodiments of the present invention require no high voltages and are operationally compatible with the low signal levels and actuating voltages found in modern day computing and communication circuitry.

Through the method and means of the invention, RGB base video electrical signals (indicative of Red, Green, and Blue colors to be mixed in some proportion for achieving some perceived hue of an image) are applied to the transducers of an electro-optical converter; said converter being an integral part of the encoder of the invention. The convertor, capable of emitting the RGB colors upon excitation, converts the RGB electrical signals directly into the discrete RGB optical radiations required. The emissions from the transducers, can be of the coherent or non-coherent form, so long as the hues, intensity, and duration of emissions are as prescribed by the instigating RGB signals. The solid-state laser and the LED (Light Emitting Diode) can be utilized as electro-optical transducers.

As prescribed hues radiate from the converter, they are caused to instantly disperse throughout a radiation confining region within the encoder; the "Ganzfeld Distributor". This Ganzfeld (entire field) region is so configured as to contain the available radiation in a unique "Ganzfeld Radiation" form, such that the established field is not coherent in the sense of collimation and wave/ray phasing, but is uniform as to hue and field strength, i.e. isochroous and isotropic, within the Ganzfeld distributor. Methods of the invention provide for the Ganzfeld hues to be 'achieved through either "black-level" or "white-level" base modes; wherein discrete color emissions are, respectively, added or substracted. This Ganzfeld radiation possesses no discrete beam and permeates the three-dimensional Ganzfeld region as a radiant and uniformly perceived hue having uniform intensity throughout. Totally contained, egress of this radiation is only as allowed through a prescribed surface of the Ganzfeld distributor contiguous with the input to the imaging screen of the invention. The Ganzfeld distributor function may be enabled through passive optical elements known in the art, with the transmissive containment region being hollow, fluid filled (gas or liquid) , solid, granular, or a heterogeneous composite of the foregoing. The established Ganzfeld radiation totally and uniformly transilluminates the imaging screen's input surface.

The imaging screen comprises a matrix arrayed plexus of minute light-gates. This configuration may be visualized as a X-Y matrix coordinate system with electrodes being the x and y lines of a tick-tack-toe or checkerboard arrangement wherein the checkerboard-like squares are individually switchable light-gates or "windows" which may be either opened or closed to optical transmissions. It may be further visualized that, should the various hues of an image be transmitted through these "windows" in proper association, a color image mosaic will be perceived; or a monochromatic image perceived should transmissions be of the same hue with intensity shadings.

In the method of switching the light-gates for hue transmission, x-y electrodes are addressed with actuating voltages in a prescribed manner. Such addressing causes a "window" or "windows" (gates) to be opened within the imaging screen light-gate array so as to dictate the time and place within the image mosaic being transmitted that a unique hue, prescribed by some unique RGB- signal actuating the system of the invention, emanates as a transmission from a spot or a plurality of spots. The entire light-gate array is scanned, as to space and time, in accordance with RGB signals being applied to the system; thereby rendering the image mosaic as multiple unique spot-transmissions of the prescribed hue(s) through the imaging screen.

Optical radiations emanating from the imaging screen may be converted to analogous electrical signals for storage, demultiplexing, or re-transmission. Further, by coupling fiber-optic or other receptive-transmissive elements to the imaging screen light-gates, the discrete radiant spot-transmission(s) provided through the transmissive elements may be utilized for remote display of scenes or spot-transmissions; or converted to electrical analogs of the chromatic constituents; or distributed throughout a multitude of receptive channels such as would comprise an optical switching or optical demultiplexing system.

Means and methods of the invention may also be applied to multiplexing within electro-optical systems. Conversion of discrete or multiple RGB electrical signals into the Ganzfeld type of optical radiation, possessing uniform hue and field strength characteristics, effectively comprises electro-optical multiplexing. Further, the direct conversion of discrete or multiple optically radiant hues, themselves, into the aforesaid Ganzfeld type of radiation comprises direct optical multiplexing.

In addition to the objects of the present invention identified in the parent application, incorporated herein by reference, it .is an object of the present invention to form a composite display of various colors from non-overlayed hue-pixel imaging groups.

Alternate embodiments of the present invention also utilize RGB signals from a video source (computer, etc.) to drive a color generator. However in these alternate embodiments, the same RGB signals are used in the selection of the specific hue-pixel group to be displayed.

In practicing the present invention, the following techniques may be employed: a) transmission of the Ganzfeld hue through one or more light-gates of the screen or discriminator for direct viewing; b) projection of the Ganzfeld hue through the light-gates and imaged on a separate viewing screen; and c) floodlighting a selective reflective hue pixel-group of the imaging screen with the generated Ganzfeld hues. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 is a schematic block diagram illustrating the system of the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a scnematic block diagram of the decoder comprising imaging screen and digital driving means;

Fig. 3 is an exploded perspective diagrammatic view of a device according to the present invention;

Fig. 4 is a view of an embodiment of the distributor means which utilizes a mix of dispersive particles contained in a simple housing;

Fig. 5 is a partial sectional, diagrammatic view of the device depicting transmissive optical guides coupled to the imaging screen;

Fig. 6 is a schematic block diagram illustrating an alternative embodiment of a system according to the present invention in which different hue-pixel groups are sequenced to produce a polychromatic picture composite;

Figs. 7A - 7E each represents a grid layout of monochromatic parts of a polychromatic, composite grid layout depicted in Fig. 7F.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Through the methods and means hereinafter detailed, derived and processed fields of video analog optical radiation are directed to transmit selectively as chromatic pixels; thereby obviating the need for phosphors and electron beams as in the CRT.

Referring now to Fig. 1 of the invention, instant electrical video RGB signals 1, in synchronization with horizontal and vertical sync signals 27, are converted through polychromatic converter means 3 to derive substantially instantaneous optical emissions 5, whose .radiation is to be processed and directed for imaging or transmission as a pixel or beam.

Emissions 5 are dispersively processed through a Ganzfeld (entire field) distributor means 7 of an encoder means 11 to become established therein as a constrained and isochroously perceived instant isotropic optical radiation field 9 (field 9) , the perceived hue of which can be derived by chromatic mixing.

Field 9 is of the Ganzfeld isotropic form, with an almost instant intensity and with a persistence and isoσhroous hue (uniform color throughout) being the synergistic optical resultant of the tri-stimulus constituent values of signals 1. Field 9 instantaneously resides in and permeates the three-dimensional region of encoder means 11 conjoining decoder means 13 so as to totally and uniformly transilluminate electro-optical imaging screen means 21. Screen means 21 comprises a contiguous plurality of binary light-gate imaging points, each one denoted RyCx, to be herein later described.

An RyCx light-gate imaging point, unique in time, is synchronously selected and actuated by address controller means 23 so as to direct a Ganzfeld transmission of the total resident radiation field 9 through the imaging point of screen means 21 as an imaged optical pixel or radiant beam. Reiterative processing through the foregoing methods and means for each one of the subsequent RGB signals 1 provides subsequently, substantially instant Ganzfeld transmissions of fields 9 through screen 21 as properly timed and spatially oriented contiguous pixels of an optical composition being imaged. Continuous reiteration, or "refreshing" as is known in the art, at a rate of at least 15 times per second (and preferably 30 or more times per second) , provides for composite imaging without perception of visual flicker.

Referring now also to Figs. 2 and 3, the apparatus used to decode, timely select and actuate a RyCx light-gate imaging point of screen 21, so as to image an instantaneously resident field 9 which is the optical radiation analog of an instant RGB signals 1, will be discussed. Address controller means 23, described in greater detail below, energized by a system power means 25, and synchronized by sync signals 27, activates row address lines 17 and column address lines 19 for the electro-optical switching within imaging screen 21. Screen 21 comprises a contiguous plurality of selectively trans issive binary light-gates (RyCx gates) arrayed in matrix form and serving as imaging points for directed Ganzfeld transmission(s) of radiation field(s) as pixels or beams.

Lines 17 and lines 19 are respectively connected between row electrodes 39 and column electrodes 41 of screen 21 and controller means 23 so as to enable a synchronously selected opening of a unique E/O (Electro-optical) binary gate RyCx from its remanent closed state. An 'Open" gate RyCx allows radiation to transmit while a "closed" gate RyCx does not. This unique open light-gate RyCx is selected from among an available plurality of otherwise closed light-gates RyCx arrayed in a row/column (Y/X) imaging matrix format. The radiation input for gates RyCx is input polarizer 47 of screen 21 and the radiation output for gates RyCx is output polarizer'51 of screen 21.

Thus, a selected open gate RyCx is simultaneously synchronized with a resident optical analog radiation field 9 generated from RGB signals 1. In this way, field 9 is contrived to totally, uniformly, and simultaneously transilluminate the input to all gates RyCx comprising the imaging matrix array of screen 21, but is transmitted through screen 21 only at an "open" RyCx gate or gates.

Elements 1 through 29 of Fig. 1 comprise an embodiment of the operating system of the invention. Parts 3 through 23 of Fig. 1 comprise the apparatus 29 of the invention. Parts 3 through 7 of Fig. 1 comprise components of the encoder 11 of the invention. Parts 17 through 23 of Fig. 1 comprise components of the decoder.13 of the invention.

Elements of the converter means 3, distributor means 7, screen 21, address controller means 23 are described in detail hereinafter. RGB signals 1 are electrical signals representative of the respective Red, Green and Blue optical content to be established in the radiation field 9, and possess the analog attributes of amplitude and duration proportional to the related optical constituents's contribution to the field 9. Conventionally, video cameras and picture tubes pick up and display only luminance based information, a TV camera resolving a color scene into red, green, and blue separation images that are then simultaneously focused on three respective camera tubes. Output voltages Ξr, Eg, and Eb of these tubes, are proportional to the intensities of the three color primaries, and are traditionally processed into a "composite video" form (PAL or NTSC) for RF carrier modulation.

RGB signals 1, which are provided to converter means 3, are of the camera output form (Er, Eg, Eb) , and not of the "composite video" form, and are synchronously associated with sync signals 27.

. Synchronization of the interrelated processes of the invention, wherein base video signals 1 are encoded by encoder 11 into fields 9 for transmissions through screen 21 as hues 15, is provided by the application of sync signals 27 to address controller means 23. Sync signals 27 may be the horizontal and vertical sync signals inherent to conventional TV systems, or may be any other specific type of sync signals required in other specific application(s) .

Video signals RGB, or electrical video data source signals (VD3 signals) , are currently available from a variety of sources. These sources include television video data sources, computer video data sources, recorded video data sources, and telecommunication video data sources for image data transmission.

Other inputs to encoder 11 can be direct optical signals from optical data sources, as "ODS" signals, to be distinguished from "VDS" signals. Video ODS signals can be supplied from a variety of sources, such as from the present invention utilized as a signal generator and coupled to video output channelling devices, such as those discussed hereinbelow with respect to Fig. 5. Optical beams of monochromatic hues are trajected through the screen and utilized as color pixel tri-stimulus constituents of optical video RGB signals. Other known examples of such ODS signals include optical transmission signals in fibre-optics systems; LED and LASER optical systems in free space, contained vacuums, liquids, gas, and transmissively guided communciations systems; and optical strobe and tachometer signals utilized in optical processing systems.

Fig. 2, in conjunction with Fig. 1 illustrates a means for actuating screen 21 such that a proper gate RyCx is opened for the transmission of a unique hue 15 at a selected pip (pixel imaging point) . Power means 25 and synchronizing signals 27 serve to appropriately energize generators 31 and 33 and drivers 35 and 37 within the controller means 23; thereby actuating multiple address lines 17 for row electrodes 39 and multiple address lines 19- for column electrodes 41.

Depending upon the driving-pulse and timing characteristics generated by means 23, gates RyCx may be discretely addressed for actuation or continuously scanned in a TV type raster format; thereby enabling the pips of screen 21 to sequence for imaging in TV type systems. When so employed, the conventional scanning is top row to bottom row while columns scan left to right. It will be understood, therefore, that the matrix type addressing format for screen 21 of the present invention is not unlike the conventional, commercially available systems.

However, it is noted that the fundamental functions of the RyCx gates in the present invention are different. Specificaly, gates RyCx are not utilized to modulate the intensity of field 9, or any other optical radiation, as it passes through the screen 21 for transmission as hue 15. Further, these RyCx light-gates are not utilized for the modulation of discrete chromatic emissions, reflections, or refractions so as to formulate a prescribed hue or hue shading; nor for the shading of a monochromatic optical hue throughput, reflection, or refraction, as is known in the art. The purpose of gates RyCx is to provide solely for the egress of the fields 9 through the screen 21 at pips attendant to the time and place requirements of RGB signals 1. Thus, RyCx light-gates of the present invention are simply functional binary elements.

Referring now to FIG. 1, FIG. 3, and FIG. 4, distributor means 7 is seen as a three-dimensional confining space whose limits are an input polarizer 47 of screen 21 and the inside surface of an encoder housing 65. Polarizer 47 is a linear polarizer providing the sole means for radiation field 9 to egress the encoder 11 and ingress the screen 21.

The function of distributor means 7 is to process emissions 5 of transducers 43, in a passive dispersive manner, so as to create a radiation field 9 of uniform hue and intensity totally and uniformly transilluminating the input polarizer 47 of the screen 21.

Distributor means 7, depicted in FIG. 4, is comprised of a housing 65 containing a transmissive-dispersive- heterogeneous mix of particles, such as glass spheres or other transmissive polyhedrons or shapes, interspersed with voids which may be evacuated, filled with a fluid (liquid and/or gas), and/or contain particles of various geometries.

Various other means for establishing radiation field 9 from emissions 5 of the present invention may be employed by those skilled in the art. These include a solid transmissive refractive-dispersive substance, e.g. glass, plastic, crystal, ceramic, or epoxy having transducer means 43 embedded therein, with the inside surface of the encoder housing 65 being mirrored or coated for reflection. In all embodiments, the use of light mixing elements such as lenses, mirrors, gratinqs, diffusers, and prisms can be employed as appropriate. Shown in FIG. 2, is a functional block diagram of the address controller means 23 of the invention. Vertical generator 31 is the row pulse timing generator which provides an appropriate digital pulse train to row driver 35. Driver 35, in a sequential-distributed-parallel manner, in effect switches pulse elements o-f the train as they arrive; thus enabling the sequential actuation of row address lines 17 so as to drive attendant row electrodes 39 within the screen 21.

Horizontal generator 33 is the column pulse timing generator which provides an appropriate digital pulse train to column driver 37. Driver 37, in a sequential-distributed- parallel manner, switches pulse elements of the train as they arrive, thus enabling the sequential actuation of column address lines 19 so as to drive attendant column electrodes 41 within the screen 21.

The sense of polarity and the voltge amplitude of the pulses applied to electrodes 39 and 41, through the foregoing means and methods, is such as to actuate the RyCx light-gates of screen 21. Vertical generator 31 and horizontal generator 33 of controller means 23 may be conventional digital pulse timing and generating devices similar to the TTL type SN54S124 (Texas Instruments, Inc. Dallas TX.)

Row driver 35 and column driver 37 may be devices similar to each other, such as the ICM 7281 type driver (Intersil, Inc. , Santa Clara, CA) . While these particular devices provide for driving only thirty output lines each, a multiple number may be readily employed so as to drive an embodiment of screen 21 containing more than thirty row electrodes 39 or column electrode 41. In particular, an arrang ent of four ICM 7281 drivers connected in tandem and serving as row driver 35 will drive 120 row electrodes; while a similar arrangment may be made for column driver 37.

Referring again to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 a description of screen 21 functioning to provide a transmission hue 15A through the light-gate R1C1 designated "A" will be given. Gate R1C1 is the first of the RyCx decoder light-gates and is situated at row 1, column 1 as shown by FIG. 2 of the invention. RGB signals 1A of FIG. 3 may be transduced and processed into radiation field 9A so as to transilluminate decoder input polarizer 47; said polarizer being of a vertical sense in this instance. In the absence of screen 21 actuating voltage(s) , field 9A will extend through input polarizer 47 and E-B plate 49 as a vertically polarized optical emdodiment of signals 1A. Transmission of field 9A to eg'ress screen 21 will not be allowed, however, as output polarizer 51 is oriented so as to pass only radiation of a horizontally polarized disposition.

At the instant electrode lines 39A and 41A attendant to light-gate A (R1C1) are actuated by the proper voltage(s) through row address lines 17 and column address lines 19 from address controller means 23, however, E-B plate 49 changes from an isotropic to a birefringent state in the domain of gate A only. Through this action, the vertically polarized radiation of field, 9A is effectively rotated 90 degrees so as to be horizontally disposed at horizontal output polarizer 51. Accordingly, and so disposed, field 9A transmits through screen 21 as hue 15A perceived by the eye 53 at a unique pip determined by the light-gate R1C1.

A subsequently activated light-gate R1C2 [1st row electrode line 39A, 2nd column electrode line (41B) ] , at a point "B" will synchronously allow transmission of a subsequent field (9B) through screen 21 as a hue (15B) ; should a subsequent signal (IB) for transduσtion through encoder 11 be applied (gate A at R1C1 will be closed) . Proceeding thusly, and as all RyCx light-gates of screen 21 may be synchronously actuated, or "scanned", in a prescribed TV type manner in accord with RGB signals 1 presented to the encoder 11, scenes or other images may be obtained. "R-sσan" and "C-scan" directions shown in FIG. 2 of the invention are such as to accommodate the conventional scanning format generally utilized in such .application(s) . Utilization of an embodiment of the present invention in E/O switching and imaging applications is described in the parent applciation and incorporated herein by reference.

One application of the present invention is illustrated by referral to Fig. 5. FIG. 5 is a partial section view of the apparatus 29, wherein a fiber-optic or other transmissive light guide means 55 is coupled to the screen 21 output at light-gate RlCx. The field 9 transmission as hue 15, derived, processed and directed through the means and methods of the invention hereinbefore detailed, is constrained to follow the course of guide 55, which need not be rigid or straight. Remote viewing of the optical signal in guide 55 can be done by the eye 53 of an observer. Alternatively, or in addition, the optical signal can be further optically processed, or converted into electrical analog signals. This can be done by using one or more conventional P/E (photo-electric) detection means in a P/E bank.

Guide 55 may be of conventional transmissive material such as fiber-optic, glass, plastic, crystal, ceramic, or epoxy; or of hollow non-transmissive opaque material such as metal, wood, rubber; or hollow opaque glass, plastic, crystal, ceramic, or epoxy; and may be solid, hollow, or a hollow filled with transmissive fluid, transmissive particles, or a composite; and may be flexible or not.

Two screens 21 may be coupled with radiation field 9 so as to provide identical images or spot-transmissions on opposite sides of a flat panel display without increasing the thickness; or many screens 21 may be coupled to fields 9 and utilized for many displays from a single encoder 11 source.

With reference now to FIG. 6, a further embodiment of an apparatus according to the present invention is depicted in which all of the pixels having the same hue are grouped in the same hue-pixel group and each group is iteratively, sequentially displayed in a non-overlayed image. Within each hue-pixel group, the individual pixels are either all displayed at the same time, or displayed as groups of rows or groups of columns, or are displayed individually in either a flashing manner or a locked-on manner as the entire array is scanned. The apparatus of FIG. 6 is similar to the apparatus depicted in FIG. 1, and therefore numerals designating similar elements in FIG. 6 to those of FIG. 1 have a value that is a hundred more than the value of the numerals of the elements in FIG. 1. A general purpose digital computer 90 stores a digital representation of the RGB signals representing each pixel. In one embodiment, the contributions of the colors red, green and blue to a particular hue of a particular pixel is represented by three respective 8-bit words. These signals can be stored in computer 90 through conventional means, such as from the output of a digital video camera that is scanned, pixel by pixel, or can be programmed by a computer programmer. Obviously, if a computer program provides the signals, the display that is produced is the result of. a mapping of the colors and then storing of the representative values by the programmer. Typically, the programmed-type of display is usually a non-changing display. The signals are also coded so that the identification of the particular pixel is indicated. The signals can be explicitly coded in which a larger word is used to designate the signal, such as a 12-bit word, or can be coded as to the storage location and the relative position or storage location with respect to the other signals.

The output of computer 90 is coupled to a conventional digital-to-analog converter 92 and to a signal processor 94 so as to provide the coded RGB signals thereto. Converter 92 strips out the coding for the signal address or pixel identification and produces individual analog "red", "green", and "blue" signals at the output thereof. The output of converter 92 is connected to the input of a polychromatic electro-optical converter 103 (E/O converter) , and provides the RGB electrical video signals thereto. E/O converter 103 is part of an encoder 111, which also includes a distributor 107. Encoder 111 is similar to, and can be identical with, encoder 11 described above with respect to FIG. 1, and therefore need not be further described herein.

The coded RGB signals are also provided to an optical decoder 113 which in this embodiment includes a signal processor 94, screen drivers 96 and imaging screen 121. Signal processor 94 receives the RGB signals and determines from information within the signals or from the particular timing the location of the corresponding 'pixel on screen 121. The output of signal processor 94 is connected to the input of screen drivers 96 which in turn are connected to imaging screen 121. Imaging screen 121 is substantially the .same and operates substantially the same as imaging screen 21 of FIG. 1. Thus, screen 121 comprises a plurality of matrix-arrayed individual light-gate imaging points that are activated by signals from screen drivers 96. These points can be addressed in a number of ways. In one commercial imaging screen, each pixel can be individually addressed. Such a screen is presently manufactured by Taliq Company, a division of Raychem, Inc. In another commercial screen, screen drivers 96 provide row address information along a connector 117 and column address information along a connector 119, and activate a particular pixel by providing signals to the appropriate column and row. For example, one such imaging screen is the model PCV-6420 electronic transparency viewer made by In Focus Systems, Inc. of Tualatin, Oregon. The screen of this viewer has 640-by-200 pixels arranged in columns and rows in a super twist, high contrast LCD-type screen. Viewer PCU-6420 also includes commercial examples of screen drivers 96 and signal processor 94.

The specific components that comprise signal processor 94 and screen drivers 96 depend upon the particular embodiment thereof. As mentioned above with respect to this embodiment of the invention, all pixels having the same hue are combined together in a hue-pixel group. The number of hue-pixel groups depends upon the frequency of scanning and the particular type of imaging screen. For example, a lower number of colors must be used in flat panel imaging screens because of the severe constraints on the the scanning frequency activation of the individual pixels.

.With reference now to FIG. 7A through 7F, the operation of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 6 will now be described with respect to one particular variation thereof. In this variation, non-overlayed hue-pixel groups are segregated and provided from a signal source, such as computer 90. Each packet of a hue-pixel group of signals are sequentially provided to D/A converter 92 and signal processor 94 such that E/O converter 103 produces the appropriate hue and the appropriate ones of the pixels of imaging screen 121 are opened. In this particular embodiment of the invention, each row of the matrix of light-gates of imaging screen 121 is individually addressed and all of the gates representing pixels which display the particular hue are opened at one time. This can be done by providing the column information for the particular row being addressed to an appropriate latch, such as a serial-in parallel-out shift register.

For example, FIG. 7F shows an 8 X 8 matrix of pixels, each pixel having a corresponding light gate wherein the rows are identified by a letter of the alphabet and the columns are identified by numbers. The picture depicted in FIG. 7F is a composite of six different colors, each monochromatic portion thereof being depicted in FIG. 7A through 7E (with one portion not being represented) . FIG. 7F depicts a tree growing on a hillside with a background of a blue sky and an orange sun. The dark green leaves of the tree are depicted in FIG. 7A at pixels RbC2-RbC4; RcCl-RcC5; and RdCl-RdC5. The tree also has a brown trunk such as depicted in FIG. 7C at pixels ReC3, RfC3, and RgC3. The light green grass of the hillside is depicted in FIG. 7B at appropriately identified pixels. A blue sky background is depicted in FIG. 7D and the orange sun is depicted in FIG. 7E. Finally, referring to FIG. 7F, at pixels ReCl, ReC2; RfCl, RfC2; and RgCl, RgC2, there is disclosed no color. This can either represent a black or a white wall extending up to the trunk of the tree.

Returning again to FIG. S, it can be seen that the first row of FIG. 7A is shown being emitted simultaneously from screen 121 at point RbC2, RbC3, and RbC4. Thus, according to this embodiment of the invention, as each row is energized, the appropriate light-gates are latched and are opened or left shut depending upon the sequence to be shown. Thus, if the color dark green were being generated and the image of the tree leaves depicted in FIG. 7A were being scanned, no pixels would be opened for row "a", pixels in columns 2-4 would be open for row "b", pixels 1-4 would be open for row "c", and pixels 1-4 would be open for row "d" , all appropriate pixels in a given row being simultaneously opened. After the hue-pixel group representing the leaves in FIG. 7A are scanned, a separate hue is provided by D/A converter 92 and the appropriate pixels are opened to provide the color light green as depicted in FIG. 7B. In this way, each hue is independently presented without interleaving two hues on the same pixel, as is done in the prior art. The entire sequence is repeated a minimum of 15 to 30 or more times per second, the frequency being determined on the low end so as to avoid the perception of flicker and on the high end by the response time of imaging screen 121.

In another embodiment of the present invention wherein each pixel can be individually addressed, all of the pixels representing a particular hue are opened at the same time. At the present time, however, this type of imaging screen is restricted to relatively large pixels and therefore this procedure must be restricted to large scale displays.

Finally, if the number of hues is small, such as 4, then conventional imaging screens can be addressed with sufficient speed such that each pixel of a given hue can be individually opened as the entire screen is scanned, one pixel at a time. In this variation, pixels are opened only when addressed. Thus, the entire screen shown in FIG. 7A is scanned, pixel by pixel, and only individual pixels representing the shaded areas in Fig. 7A are opened one by one. In this variation, the particular hue can be generated for the entire scan. However, in a continuous raster-type scan, where each pixel is individually opened, the hue generation must be coordinated with the pixel addressing such that the hue appears only when the appropriate pixel is addressed and the chamber is dark when the other pixels are addressed.

The division of pixels into hue-pixel groups can be done through conventional programming techniques or with conventional hardware techniques that would be known to those skilled in the art. Alternatively, rather than pre-grouping of the pixels into hue-pixel groups, the pixels can be classified "on the fly" by applying each RGB signal to an analyzer with subsequent hue-pixel-group data storage.

The foregoing invention has been described with respect to particularly preferred embodiments thereof. However, variations and modifications would be obvious to those skilled in the art.

Claims

I CLAIM:
1. A device for processing and directing radiation for selective transmission comprising means for generating said radiation comprising means for producing said radiation from a train of electrical data source signals wherein said electrical data source signals are divisible into groups of signals and said signal groups as a whole are representative of a polychromatic video display comprised of disσernable pixels, each said signal group being comprised of one or more signals and being representative of a pixel of said display and of a particular hue; encoder means for receiving said radiation and for producing a substantially isochroously perceived, substantially isotropic field of radiation; and decoder means for selectively directing the transmission of said radiation field from said encoder means. wherein said decoder means comprises means for sequentially, reiteratively directing the transmission of each said hue of said display.
2. A device as claimed in Claim 1 wherein said radiation is optical radiation including the infrared, visible, and ultraviolet wavelengths.
3. A device as claimed in Claim 2 wherein said radiation generating means includes means for generating optical data source signals that comprise directed transmission of optical radiation trajected through transmissive guides.
4. A device as claimed -in Claim 2 wherein said radiation generating means includes at least two different colored optical means for producing optical emissions.
5. A device as claimed in Claim 2 wherein said encoder means comprises distributor means for receiving said radiation and for producing said field, said distributor means comprising passive optical means for producing said fields.
6. A device as claimed in Claim 5 wherein said decoder means further comprises electro-optical imaging screen means comprising a plurality of individual binary light-gates for directing the transmission of said processed radiation fields out of said decoder means; and electronic address controller means for selecting and actuating said individual binary light-gates to control decoding of said isotropic radiation fields.
7. A device as claimed in Claim 1 wherein said generating means further comprises means for storing said electrical data source signals; and wherein said electrical data source signals are a digital representation of a video source.
8. A device as claimed in Claim 1 and further comprising means for determining which one of a plurality of predetermined hues is represented by each one of said signal groups; and wherein said radiation generating means receives each said signal group and generates optical radiation in response thereto; and wherein said encoder means produces a field having said predetermined hue.
9. A display device as claimed in Claim 1 for producing a polychromatic display comprised of individual pixels, each pixel having a particular monochromatic hue, all pixels having the same hue being arrangeable in a hue-pixel group, said device further comprising: a housing having an enclosed cavity therein and an opening in communication with said cavity in one part thereof; and wherein said encoder means comprises means inside said cavity for producing a substantially isoσhroously perceived, substantially isotropic field of light radiation, said producing means comprising means for receiving a train of a group of electrical data source signals, each signal group having one or more signals and being representative of a predetermined hue and a known pixel; and means responsive to each signal group to produce the corresponding hue; and wherein said decoder means is for selectively directing the transmission of said radiation field through at least a part of said housing opening, and said decoder means comprises an optical imaging screen covering said housing opening and having a plurality of addressable light gates, each gate, when addressed, transmitting any generated radiation through said screen so as to produce a pixel of said display; address controller means for addressing all light gates representative of the same hue pixel group, and for serially, reiteratively addressing all hue-pixel groups of light gates such that said display is produced by the non-overlayed presentation of all hue-pixel groups.
10. A display device as claimed in Claim 9 and further comprising means for arranging all pixels into said hue-pixel groups.
11. A method of processing and directing optical radiation for imaged transmission utilizing the device as claimed in Claim 1 comprising: processing optical data source signals into a constrained and substantially isochroously perceived, substantially isotropic field of radiation which totally and uniformly transilluminates the input of an electro-optical imaging screen that is comprised of a plurality of addressable, transmissively closed, switchable binary light-gate imaging points; addressing said imaging screen to select a binary light-gate imaging point; and transmissively opening said selected imaging point in a timed relationship to the processing of corresponding data source signals to obtain a directed transmission of said field of radiation through said imaging point as a substantially isochroously perceived light emission.
12. A method as claimed in claim 11 wherein said steps are continuously reiterated to produce a directed transmission of said produced fields of said radiation to produce an optically perceivable picture.
13. A method as claimed in Claim 12 wherein a polychromatic display is produced, the display being comprised of a plurality of discrete pixels, each pixel having a particular monochromatic hue, said method further comprising arranging all pixels having the same hue into- a hue-pixel group; and wherein said addressing step further includes serially addressing each hue-pixel group of light-gate imaging points such that said display is produced by the non-overlayed presentation of all hue-pixel groups.
PCT/US1989/000199 1988-01-19 1989-01-18 Method and apparatus for producing a color image WO1989006852A1 (en)

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US14513388 true 1988-01-19 1988-01-19
US145,133 1988-01-19
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KR890071728A KR960016725B1 (en) 1988-01-19 1989-01-18 Method and apparatus for producing a color image
BR8904792A BR8904792A (en) 1988-01-19 1989-01-18 Apparatus and method for processing and direct radiation to transmission

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Also Published As

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EP0353286A4 (en) 1990-04-10 application
EP0353286A1 (en) 1990-02-07 application
JPH02503043A (en) 1990-09-20 application
CA1334309C (en) 1995-02-07 grant

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