Saccade-based Display

( 日本語はこちら )

The display of 2D images is fundamental to nearly all forms of visual presentation, and pursuing display methods based on insight of human perception may reveal many new possibilities. Information display should be thought of as a conjunction of both the human and the device, and there are still many resources available on the human side. Here, we propose a 2D information display system, which uses perceptional features during eye movements.

Picture by Jun KURUMISAWA

The shifts of the gaze are usually achieved by rapid eye movements called saccades. As a perceptual feature during the saccade, it is known that when a light source flickers during the time of a saccade in a dark environment, a dotted array can be perceived due to retinal afterimages. 

If light sources are fixed on a vertical line, instead of a point, and the flashing pattern is changed quickly during a horizontal saccade, 2D images can be perceived. The flashing pattern is expanded to a spatial pattern by the eye movement as in following figure. During the eye movement, the vertical light array travels on the retina, while it changes the flashing pattern. Then, the different vertical images at different retinal positions are integrated to a 2D image. 

When a flickering light array moves at a fast enough speed, we can perceive 2D images through retinal afterimages as in following figure left (ISM Inc. Fantazein). Conversely, Saccade-based Display make afterimage by viewer's eye movement as in the figure right. The painted image on the retina is relatively the same.  It thus enable us to present 2D images without any screen only with 1 dimensional light sources, and to show images even in midair in dim environment, since the image is generated due to retinal afterimages. In order to display information, there is only one column of lights on the device side, but when well coordinated with eye movement, its display capability is multiplied.

Please see the VIDEOs!
Principle without narration
Application and principle (22MByte)

  ISM Inc. Fantazein                                      Saccade-based Display     

Our purpose is to construct a unique display by using the saccade eye movement. We can display information in a space outside of the device itself and put images on our surrounding environment. For example, we will set our display at various places in a hall, a pillar of doors, between the booths, stairs and aisles. We can attach our display in any place dark enough to use it. This application is leading to Augmented Reality systems. So far we need a physical line of LEDs to show images. For the future work, by simply projecting a flickering line of light we would make a virtual Saccade-based Display able to present information anywhere.

Conceptual Pictures by Jun KURUMISAWA

This display also has deficits. This display functions mainly in dark or dim places, and 2D images are perceived only when the timing of the saccade coincides with the flash timing. If the timing is off, only 1 dimensional light will be perceived, instead of 2D image. Of course, our eyes are moving naturally, but the timing is arbitrary. We induce eye movements by light stimulus and other inducers. For example, when one light point turns on then, it turn off and another point turn on, our eye movement toward it is induced. Or we set the display at the places where eye movements occur naturally such as dance floor, rotating stairs. Additionally we are investigating the real-time saccade detecting system for presenting 2D images reliably.

contact     Junji Watanabe: junji(at)