Plessey and Vuzix partners on next-gen AR smart glasses

June 04, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Plessey Semiconductors announced a partnership with micro-optics pioneer Vuzix for the development next-gen AR smart glasses technologies. The two companies aim to combine Plessey's Quanta-Brite microLED light source with Vuzix’ extensive expertise and IP in smart glasses and essential optic technologies. 

Vuzix has already developed an evolving family of smart glasses culminating in the Vuzix Blade, supporting see-through viewing via proprietary waveguide optics. Formed from glass with precision nanostructures, the waveguide is a key component in an AR/MR product, enabling users to see high-resolution computer-generated graphics, images and information superimposed over images from the physical or real world. For the development of its next-generation product, Vuzix has selected Plessey’s microLED-based Quanta-Brite light engine, which delivers extremely high efficiency and an improvement in lumen output compared to other light sources currently available on the market, according to the company. 
Quanta-Brite is based on Plessey’s advanced and proprietary gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology, with an integrated monolithic array of RGB pixels with advanced first level micro-optical elements to create a bright, largely collimated and highly uniform light source for the illumination of DMD and LCOS display engines.  The resulting optical system is up to 50% smaller, lighter, simpler and cheaper than incumbent solutions and the high performance microLED emitters combined with minimal optical system losses result is significantly increased power efficiency. Size, weight and power reduction are key considerations in AR/MR wearables. Quanta-Brite has been designed specifically for the next generation of Vuzix personal display systems.

"Plessey’s Quanta-Brite microLED technology can be a major enabler of the future of augmented reality," said Vuzix President and CEO Paul Travers. "As well as delivering high-efficiency, low-power and small-size illumination capabilities, the very high level of luminescence of the Quanta-Brite light source can also enable the development of end products with a sleeker form factor, which is a key attribute of our waveguide based Smart Glasses and critical to mass market adoption."

According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), headsets and eyewear outfitted for AR and VR applications are set for record sales this year of $1.2 billion in the US market alone. 
Plessey Semiconductors -  www.plesseysemiconductors.com

 

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