Technologies applicable toward a display system in which a laser is raster scanned on the viewer's retina are reviewed. The properties of laser beam propagation and the inherent resolution of a laser scanning system are discussed. Scanning techniques employing rotating mirrors, galvanometer scanners, acoustooptic deflectors, and piezoelectric deflectors are described. Resolution, speed, deflection range, and physical size are strongly coupled properties of these technologies. A radiometric analysis indicates that eye safety would not be a problem in a retina-scanning system. For head-mounted display applications, a monochromatic system employing a laser diode source with acoustooptic and galvanometer scanners is deemed most practical at the present time. A resolution of 1000 × 1000 pixels at 60 frames per second should be possible with such a monochromatic system using currently available off-the-shelf components. A full-color scanned-laser display suitable for head-mounted display use is not judged feasible to build at this time with off-the-shelf components.

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