A virtual retinal display utilizes photon generation and manipulation to create a panoramic, high resolution, color virtual image that is projected directly onto the retina of the eye without creating a real or an aerial image that is viewed via a mirror or optics. The virtual retinal display includes a source of photons, the photons being modulated with video information and scanned in a raster type of pattern directly onto the retina of the user's eye. The photon generator may utilize coherent or non-coherent light. Further, the photon generator may utilize color light generators so as to scan a colored virtual image directly onto the retina of the user's eye. The virtual retinal display may also include a depth accommodation cue to vary the focus of scanned photons rapidly so as to control the depth perceived by a user for each individual picture element of the virtual image. Further, an eye tracking system may be utilized to sense the position of an entrance pupil of the user's eye, the detected pupil position being utilized to move the scanned photons so as to be approximately coincident with the entrance pupil of the eye. The detected pupil position may also be used to change the video image scanned onto the retina so that as the user's eye moves, the view perceived by the user changes.