Proposal of moire-free aerial display based on the LED panel and apertured retro-reflector


We have realized a novel optical system to form a large aerial image in front of a full-color LED panel that is covered with retro-reflector. The retro-reflector has square apertures through which lights from the LED pixels pass. Our optical system is based on aerial imaging by retro-reflection (AIRR). The aerial image formed with AIRR is visible over a wide viewing angle without using 3D glasses. To reduce the system volume, a beam splitter is placed parallelly in front of the LED panel covered with the retro-reflector. Because the apertured retro-reflector is placed on the LED panel, no moiré occurs between the apertures in the retro-reflector and black regions on the LED panel. We have analytically clarified the optimal aperture ratio in the proposed optical system to increase the luminance of the aerial image. Furthermore, we have developed a prototype for experimental confirmation of our optical system and measured of the luminance intensity of the aerial images. Consequently, we have confirmed measured results are consistent with our analysis. Showing aerial signage in front of an LED panel reduces the foot space, which is suitable for the installation of a large-scale aerial display for advertisement and exhibitions.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10

source LED panel

Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14


  1. 1.

    Hong, J., Kim, Y., Choi, H.J., Hahn, J., Park, J.H., Kim, H., Min, S.W., Chen, N., Lee, B.: Three-dimensional display technologies of recent interest: principles, status, and issues. Appl. Opt. 50, H87–115 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Next Generation 3D Display. Accessed 20 May 2020

  3. 3.

    Matsuura, Y., Koizumi, N.: Interaction with Mid-air Images on Water Surface. IPSJ 60, 318–327 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Miyazaki, D., Maekawa, S., Maeda, Y., Foucher, J.M.: Floating multi-view image formation with micro-mirror array imaging element. DHIP’13, Session 2–3 (2013)

  5. 5.

    Maekawa, S., Markon, S.: Airflow interaction with Floating images,” SIGGRAPH ASIA 2009 Art Gallery & Emerging Technologies. SIGGRAPH ASIA’09 Art Gallery & Emerging Technologies, p. 61 (2009)

  6. 6.

    Tokuda, Y., Hiyama, A., Hirose, M., Yamamoto, H.: R2D2 w/ AIRR: Real time & Real space Double-Layered Display with Aerial Imaging by Retro-Reflection. Proc. SIGGRAPH Asia’15, Emerging Technologies, 20:1–20:3 (2015)

  7. 7.

    Maekawa, S., Nitta, K., Matoba, O.: Advances in Passive Imaging Elements with Micromirror Array. Proc. SPIE 6392, 63920E (2006)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    AERIAL IMAGING. Accessed 20 May 2020

  9. 9.

    Nippon Signs Association. Accessed 20 May 2020

  10. 10.

    Tomiyama, Y., Suyama, S., Yamamoto, H.: Fabrication of special glass-beads retroreflector for AIRR. Proc. IDW’14, FMC4–3 (2014)

  11. 11.

    Tan, Y., Chen, H.: Diffraction of transmission light through triangular apertures in array of retro-reflective microprisms. Appl. Opt. 51(16), 3403–3409 (2012).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Brien, D.C.O., Faulkner, G.E., Edwards, D.J.: Optical properties of a retroreflecting sheet. Appl. Opt. 38(19), 4137–4144 (1999).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Onuki, K., Nakajima, M., Yamamoto, H.: Dependence of polarization-maintenance rate of retro-reflector on incident angle. Proc. JSAP Autumn Meeting’15, 14p-2E-4 (2015)

  14. 14.

    Yamamoto, H., Suyama, S.: Aerial imaging by Retro-Reflection (AIRR). SID’13 DIGEST, 895 (2013)

  15. 15.

    Yamamoto, H., Tomiyama, Y., Suyama, S.: Floating aerial LED signage based on aerial imageng by retro-reflection (AIRR). Opt. Express 22, 26919 (2014)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Ueda, Y., Iwazaki, K., Shibasaki, M., Mizushina, Y., Furukawa, M., Nii, H., Minamizawa, K., Tachi, S.: Mid-air autostereoscopic display for seamless interaction with mixed reality environments. Proc. SIGGRAPH’14, Emerging Technologies, 10:1–10:1 (2014)

  17. 17.

    Tokuda, Y., Onuki, K., Takahashi, M., Onose, S., Okamoto, T., Hirose, M., Yamamoto, H.: Aerial Imaging by Retro-Reflection with Transparent Retro-Reflector (AIRR with TRR). Proc. IDW’15, 3Dp6-2 (2015)

  18. 18.

    Kawai, K., Yamamoto, H.: Formation of Aerial Image with Motion Parallax Generated by Scattered Light on Arcs. IDW’16, 3Dp2-13 (2014)

  19. 19.

    Martinez, D.P., Joyce, E., Subramanian, S.: Mistable: Reach-through personal screen for tabletops. Proc. CHI’14, 3493 (2014)

  20. 20.

    Terashima, Y., Suyama, S., Yamamoto, H.: Perceived Depth of Aerial Protruding Depth-Fused 3D Display. IDW’18, 3Dp1-13 (2018)

  21. 21.

    Terashima, Y., Suyama, S., Yamamoto, H.: Aerial Depth-Fused 3D Image Formed with Aerial Imaging by Retro-Reflection (AIRR). Opt. Rev. 26, 179–186 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Ito, S., Uchida, K., Mizushina, H., Suyama, S., Yamamoto, H.: Aerial secure display by use of polarization-processing display with retarder film and retro-reflector. SPIE 10126, 101260O (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Ito, S., Uchida, K., Yamamoto, H.: Use of ultrasonic waves for navigation to the viewing position of aerial secure display. Proc. IDW, 24, HAPp1-4 (2017)

  24. 24.

    Onuki, K., Okamoto, T., Onose, S., Nakajima, M., Kawagishi, N., Yamamoto, H.: Brightness improvement by polarization modulation in the aerial imaging by retro-reflection. IMID’16 DIGEST, P2 (2016)

  25. 25.

    Onose, S., Yamamoto, H.: Omnidirectional Aerial Display with Aerial Imaging by Retro-Reflection (AIRR). Proc. DHIP’16, P20–34 (2016)

  26. 26.

    Onose, S., Yamamoto, H.: Omnidirectional Aerial Display with AIRR by Use of Multifaceted Beam Splitters. Proc. IDW’17, FMCp2-1 (2017)

  27. 27.

    Abe, E., Yasugi, M., Takeuchi, H., Watanabe, E., Kamei, Y., Yamamoto, H.: Development of omnidirectional aerial display with aerial imaging by retro-reflection (AIRR) for behavioral biology experiments. Opt. Rev. 26, 221–229 (2019)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Yasugi, M., Yamamoto, H.: Exploring the combination of optical components suitable for the large device to form aerial image by AIRR. Proc. IDW’19, PRJp1-5L (2019)

  29. 29.

    Kobori, T., Shimose, K., Onose, S., Okamoto, T., Nakajima, M., Iwane, T., Yamamoto, H.: Aerial Light-Field Image Augmented Between You and Your Mirrored Image. Proc. SIGGRAPH ASIA’17, 08-0176 (2017)

  30. 30.

    Nishimura, D., Yasugi, M., Yamamoto, H.: Forming aerial signage in front of LED panel by use of retro-reflector with square-shaped holes. Proc. OPIC’20, LDC9-04 (2020)

  31. 31.

    Nakajima, M., Onuki, K., Amimori, I., Yamamoto, H.: Polarization state analysis for polarized aerial imaging by retro-reflection (AIRR). Proc. IDW’15, FMC5-3 (2015)

  32. 32.

    Matsushita, K., Tokimoto, T., Yamamoto, H.: Subjective super-resolution by use of high-speed multi-color LED display. Proc. OPIC’20, LDC10-02 (2020)

Download references


A part of this work was supported by JST, ACCEL (Grant Number JPMJAC1601).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hirotsugu Yamamoto.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nishimura, D., Yasugi, M. & Yamamoto, H. Proposal of moire-free aerial display based on the LED panel and apertured retro-reflector. Opt Rev (2021).

Download citation


  • Digital signage
  • Aerial display
  • LED panel
  • Retro-reflector