Custom OLED microdisplay for industrial AR data glasses

April 30, 2019 //By Julien Happich
OLED microdisplay
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has developed a new OLED-on-silicon technology microdisplay especially dedicated to industrial Augmented Reality (AR) data glasses.

The beginnings of Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) date back to the 1960s. In the 1990s further developed data glasses, which are initially associated with the entertainment/gaming sector, were mainly used in professional scenarios, such as pilot training or robot programming. Today, data glasses and HMDs have become indispensable in the age of industry 4.0 for production, maintenance and medical applications.

For more than 10 years, Fraunhofer FEP has been developing applications and display solutions based on the OLED-on-silicon technology that are predestined for the use in data glasses and HMDs. In the meantime, a whole series of OLED microdisplays has been developed and their parameters are being continuously improved. Each display is designed application-specific, because parameters such as brightness, resolution, power consumption, screen size and complexity of the electronics play a major role in the increasingly professional and demanding requirements.

Many initiatives such as the publicly funded "Glass@Service" project focused particularly on the development of see-through AR data glasses. To this end, the scientists have now evaluated the requirements for OLED microdisplays for the use in industrial applications.

Some of these use cases are already covered by existing OLED microdisplay solutions of Fraunhofer FEP: Wearables use look around displays with limited resolution and frame rate but benefit from very high brightness and extremely low power consumption. On the other hand, there are quite different requirements for VR applications - these are fulfilled by a specially designed high-resolution WUXGA microdisplay with 2.3M pixels and 1 inch screen diagonal.

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