Optics Balzers and WaveOptics partner on diffractive waveguides for AR applications
The companies aim to scale up the production of high- quality waveguides for augmented reality (AR) glasses.
IMAGE: In one augmented reality (AR) application, computer-generated imagery is projected through the waveguide into your eye and appears as a virtual image in the real world. (Image credit: Optics Balzers)
Optical coatings and components company Optics Balzers (Balzers, Liechtenstein) and diffractive waveguide manufacturer WaveOptics (Oxfordshire, England) are collaborating to industrialize diffractive waveguide manufacturing for near-eye display applications. They aim to scale up the production of high- quality waveguides for augmented reality (AR) glasses.
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These AR glasses enable users to see computer-generated imagery overlaid onto the real world. This partnership will enable the mass-market adoption of AR. To date, the companies say that no company has managed to produce AR devices in large quantities and bring a high quality product to the market at an affordable price point.
The WaveOptics optical solution for AR devices promises full color, high field of view, and lower cost along with scalable manufacturing processes. Optics Balzers as leading partner for industrialization of optical key components supports WaveOptics in further developing the technology and says it has the expertise to establish mass production.
Alex Vogt, CEO of Optics Balzers, says that the partnership is a big step in enhancing AR. "Our collaboration makes it possible to implement high performance AR consumer applications at the lowest cost available today."
David Hayes, WaveOptics CEO, adds, "This partnership will allow us to leverage Optics Balzers expertise in optical coatings and solutions, which will allow us to mass-manufacture our waveguides at scale, at the lowest cost in the industry today." WaveOptics aims to be production ready by the end of 2018, and therefore in a position to support its customers for their launch timeframes.