Smartglass designer and video eyewear maker Vuzix have announced what they say is a “major optical breakthrough that will dramatically improve glasses-based wearable technology.” The new optics engine, called Waveguide, was jointly developed with Nokia. This enables smart eyewear technology being able to fit into standard glasses frames, as demonstrated by the recently announced Vuzix M2000AR HMD.
Waveguide optics are a revolutionary new way of affecting light within smart glasses and are only a fraction of the weight and size of standard prism-based optics used in rival wearable smart devices. The user experience is enhanced as Waveguide optics also deliver a much wider field of view.
Waveguide optics use a 1.4mm thin “window” (operating similar to a fibre optic) with a tiny input pupil that is expanded using a hologram in front of the eye, as opposed to requiring large optics to focus and create the required virtual image.
With the Waveguide optics, light is not bent through bulk material as in a conventional optics setup. This provides a significant improvement in simplicity and overall optical performance, as the mass, weight and volume are affected. The technology was originally developed by Nokia and licensed to Vuzix. Vuzix integrated it with its own Waveguide technology and they developed other improvements and incorporated it into its release into Vuzix products.
The M2000AR is just the first of many planned waveguide-based solutions for the coming year. It’s a monocular solution made for Enterprise, featuring a 1080p camera with a 720p display, a HDMI Interface, electronic sunglass “tint”, daylight usable with up to 8,000 Nits of brightness, integrated head tracking & compass, anodized aluminium alloy enclosure, and rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Vuzix hopes to use the upcoming Las Vegas CES to showcase to the world the M2000AR in action. The standard user will have to wait a little longer for the general release, but in the meantime, business can already order their units from vuzix.com.
[Image via tabliczni]