James E. Melzer
at Independent Consultant
SPIE Involvement:
Conference Program Committee | Author | Editor | Instructor
Profile Summary

• Experienced in product development for aerospace, military, commercial and medical applications.
• Expertise in optical, displays and video system engineering, and design for head- and helmet mounted displays, human visual and auditory perception and workload reduction.
• Collaborative team leader for diverse teams of engineers in research and development initiatives, new product development and cost reduction programs.
• Skilled in strategic planning and technology gap analysis.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills. Accomplished in proposal development and public speaking.
• Active DoD Secret security clearance.
Publications (24)

Proceedings Article | 16 April 2021 Presentation
Proc. SPIE. 11762, SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing Industry Talks

Proceedings Article | 19 February 2020 Paper
Proc. SPIE. 11310, Optical Architectures for Displays and Sensing in Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality (AR, VR, MR)
KEYWORDS: Sun, Stars, Polarization, Visualization, Magnetism, Satellite navigation systems, Biomimetics, Augmented reality, Navigation systems, Global Positioning System

Proceedings Article | 2 May 2018 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 10642, Degraded Environments: Sensing, Processing, and Display 2018
KEYWORDS: Polarization, Visualization, Navigation systems, Optical tracking, Head-mounted displays, Global Positioning System

Proceedings Article | 5 May 2017 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 10197, Degraded Environments: Sensing, Processing, and Display 2017
KEYWORDS: Eye, Visualization, Sensors, Image resolution, Head, Augmented reality, Head-mounted displays, Defense technologies, Virtual reality, Environmental sensing

SPIE Journal Paper | 26 January 2017
OE Vol. 56 Issue 05
KEYWORDS: Distortion, Transparency, Cameras, Head-mounted displays, Head, Eye, Optical engineering, Refraction, Imaging systems, Heads up displays

Showing 5 of 24 publications
Proceedings Volume Editor (3)

Conference Committee Involvement (13)
Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality (XR) Technology for Multi-Domain Operations III
3 April 2022 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality (XR) Technology for Multi-Domain Operations II
12 April 2021 | Online Only, Florida, United States
Situation Awareness in Degraded Environments 2020
27 April 2020 | Online Only, California, United States
Situation Awareness in Degraded Environments 2019
16 April 2019 | Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Situation Awareness in Degraded Environments 2018
17 April 2018 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Showing 5 of 13 Conference Committees
Course Instructor
SC159: Head-Mounted Displays: Design and Applications
Head-mounted displays (HMD) and the military counterpart helmet-mounted displays, are personal information-viewing devices that can provide information in a way that no other display can because the information is always available for viewing. By making the imagery reactive to head and body movements we replicate the way humans view, navigate and explore the world. This unique capability lends itself to applications such as Virtual Reality for creating artificial environments, medical visualization as an aid in surgical procedures, military vehicles for viewing sensor imagery, aircraft simulation and training, and for fixed and rotary wing avionics display applications. This course covers design fundamentals for head-mounted displays from the user's point of view starting with the basics of human perception, head and neck biomechanics, image sources, optical design and head mounting. We will also discuss the impact of user task requirements and applications on various HMD parameters, as well as a detailed discussion of HMD optical designs (pupil and non-pupil forming, see-through and non-see-through, monocular, biocular and binocular, exit pupil and eye relief). From there we will delve into various image source technologies, discussing advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches and methods for producing color imagery, with their implications for use in the near-eye presentation of imagery. We will also discuss head/neck anatomy and biomechanics and the implications of HMD weight and center of gravity on crash and ejection safety. Also presented will be guidelines for preventing eye fatigue, neck strain, cybersickness and other adverse physiological effects that have been attributed to poor HMD design. Throughout the course, we will use examples of current HMD systems and hardware to illustrate these issues.
SC1096: Head-Mounted Display Requirements and Designs for Augmented Reality Applications
There has never been a more exciting time for augmented reality (AR). The advent of high resolution microdisplays, the invention of new optical designs like waveguide and freeform eyepieces, and the significant advances in optical manufacturing techniques mean that augmented reality head mounted displays can be produced now that were not possible five years ago. Key to the development and adoption of these systems is the understanding of the fundamental requirements, derived from a human factors-centric approach to AR system design. The authors, with a combined experience of over 50 years in the design of AR systems, will identify the key performance parameters necessary to understand the specification, design and selection of AR systems and help students understand how to separate the hype from reality in evaluating new AR displays. This course will evaluate the performance of various AR systems and give students the basic tools necessary to understand the important parameters in augmented reality displays, whether they are designing them or purchasing them. This is an introductory class and assumes no background in head mounted displays or optical design.
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