aveOptics, designer and manufacturer of waveguides and light engines and Luxexcel, technology leaders in 3D printed prescription lenses have collaborated to develop an innovative module integrating three of the vital elements required for developing consumer Augmented Reality smartglasses: a 3D printed prescription lens, a waveguide, and a projector.
The efforts from WaveOptics and Luxexcel now enables technology companies to manufacture augmented reality prescription glasses in a similar way to conventional glasses. The main elements of the module can be customized, scaled, and manufactured in high-volume to provide technology companies with an augmented reality prescription glasses solution that best fits the requirements of the consumer market.
Luxexcel’s patented 3D printing platform enabled the manufacturing of the module, which features a fully encapsulated waveguide in the curved body of a 3D printed prescription lens. Image quality remains high where the waveguide remains completely flat and an air gap is created during the printing process. The structure created from 3D printing also allows for accurate mounting of the projector, ensuring that all of the elements are perfectly aligned in the assembly process.
The integration of waveguide into 3D printed lenses means that glasses will become thinner with around a 50% reduction in overall weight in compassion to legacy lenses. Additionally, the waveguide is protected by the lens material creating a rugged, dust, and waterproof solution.
Guido Groet, Chief Strategy Officer at Luxexcel stated:
“About 70% of the adult world population today need vision correction to see their best. Providing consumers with a single device that integrates both their prescription requirements, as well as smart technologies from leaders such as WaveOptics, is a prerequisite in enabling the adoption of smart glasses by the mass consumer market. The combined strengths of the partnership: Luxexcel’s 3D printing platform and WaveOptics’ waveguides, create Augmented Reality prescription eyewear that everyone has been waiting for.”
Phil Greenhalgh, Chief Technology Officer at WaveOptics added:
“The combination of WaveOptics’ Katana waveguide, the thinnest and lightest waveguide on the market today, with the complete encapsulation provided by Luxexcel’s printed lenses creates an incredibly compact and robust solution that will withstand real-world use. This partnership provides a solution for two of the major product planning challenges all of our customers face: how to address prescription accommodation and delivering a robust waveguide in a form factor that can go into a consumer product.”
The module will be showcased for the first time at the SPIE. AR, VR, MR conference in March 2021. Both companies will attend virtually, in a fireside chat to discuss the technologies and the partnership. There are also rumours that Prototype samples of the module will be available for customers in Q2 2021.