Corning and WaveOptics sign long-term supply agreement for augmented reality optics
Collaboration aims for better image quality for mass adoption of AR wearables.
Precision glassmaker Corning (NYSE: GLW; Corning, NY), and WaveOptics (Oxfordshire, UK), which designs and manufactures diffractive waveguides, have entered into a long-term supply agreement for augmented reality (AR) optics.
In the agreement, Corning will provide ultraflat high-index glass wafers for WaveOptics' waveguides, which are the key optical component in many AR wearable devices. WaveOptics' specialized nanostructures will be imprinted on the glass wafers and made into waveguides using a well-defined manufacturing process.
As part of the agreement, Corning will also provide its materials science expertise to support WaveOptics' further R&D in waveguide manufacturing.
"We believe that waveguide-based AR devices offer the best combination of user experience and sleek designs today," says David Velasquez, division vice president and general manager, Precision Glass Solutions, Corning Specialty Materials. "We’re excited to work with WaveOptics to enable attractive, high-quality AR wearables, which will be key to increased adoption of this technology. We are excited about the opportunity to support their drive toward a high-volume supply chain."
"Our waveguides meet a demanding technical specification that provides a comfortable viewing experience with crisp imagery displayed over a wide instantaneous field of view," says WaveOptics CEO David Hayes. "Corning's high-index glass has the characteristics that we need to enable the superior optical performance of our waveguide technology."
WaveOptics obtained $15.5 million in a second round of funding in 2017. Patented waveguide technology in Waveoptics' waveguides produces a large viewing window in which to experience immersive AR for industrial and consumer applications.
Corning has experience delivering mass-production quantities of ultraflat high-index glass for leading AR device makers. Corning Augmented Reality Solutions are one of several products in Corning's portfolio of glass for microelectronics.