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DigiLens is taking the wraps off a new prototype for its extended reality glasses (XR), which will give augmented reality features, such as overlaying digital pictures on what you see. The glasses will allow computer software developers to come up with applications for the final solution.
DigiLens CEO Chris Pickett mentioned in an interview with VentureBeat that the Design v1 intelligent glasses are more sophisticated than models the Sunnyvale, California-based business showed in 2019. This prototype is based on the most up-to-date Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform, as nicely as the DigiLens Crystal50 waveguide for displaying imagery on the glasses.
The very first pair of intelligent glasses from the Visualize Framework will give content developers, producers, and world-wide-web of points (IoT) corporations a target hardware platform to design and style their XR applications about ahead of the launch.
“We believe it’s the most advanced set of XR glasses in the world, with the most efficient 50-degree waveguides in the world,” Pickett mentioned. “We built that purposely so that our partners can iterate to get to exactly the platform that they want to create their software.”
A quantity of prospective clients are working on the technologies, employing the Design v1 intelligent glasses as the blueprint for their items, Pickett mentioned. While the glasses are just a prototype, a quantity of clients have ordered them so they can proceed with development, Pickett mentioned.
“It’s really a who’s who of the augmented reality industry in the ecosystem,” mentioned Pickett. “Our partners can iterate on the hardware until they get to a point where they’re happy with it. And then we can solidify it into a white label product.”
DigiLens’ premiere solution is a holographic waveguide show containing a thin-film, laser-etched photopolymer embedded with microscopic holograms of mirror-like optics. A micro-show is projected into one finish of the lens and the optics turn the light wave, guiding it via the surface prior to a different set of optics turn it back toward the eye. DigiLens refined this strategy more than a decade ago when it was collaborating with Rockwell Collins to make avionic heads-up show (HUD) systems for the U.S. military. More not too long ago, the business devised a photopolymer material and holographic copy approach that enables it to create diffractive optics with printers, which have a tendency to be more affordable than regular precision-etching machines.
The new waveguide features 325 nits/lumen (that is vibrant), with 80% transparency (you can see via them), a 50-degree field of view, and 400% much less eye glow than the next most effective waveguide-based XR headset on the marketplace today, Pickett mentioned. That last component translates to a sharp screen for the viewer and almost transparent lenses so your eyes will not be obscured when you are hunting via the glasses. This enables you to have conversations with individuals when you are wearing the glasses, Pickett mentioned.
The prototypes have distinct modules that can be swapped out based on what a hardware business desires to use. That tends to make the glasses nevertheless somewhat bulky, but a final version would weigh much less than the prototype, Pickett mentioned. And he mentioned the optical tech in the glasses is the lightest, brightest, and most expense-successful in a pair of intelligent glasses today. They presently weigh from 150 grams to 180 grams (.33 pounds to .39 pounds). A final version would probably be as low as 110 grams. Normal glasses weigh about 50 grams, so these are significantly heavier in prototype kind.
The platform has to balance processing energy, battery life, and comfort for the wearer, which is what tends to make the process of constructing augmented reality glasses so tricky ideal now.
Cameras on either side of the lenses add some bulk but allow the glasses to detect your atmosphere so digital imagery can be adequately overlaid on genuine surroundings. One of the elements that will shrink more than time is the digital light projector.
Design v1 units are shipping now to choose partners and will be readily available in volume by early summer season. XR developers are nevertheless restricted in terms of viable platforms to express their content on, and significantly XR hardware has failed to ship in any genuine volume.
The Visualize Framework has been developed to adapt to computer software specifications, rather than asking developers to match inside the constraints of readily available hardware. Christian Guillemot, CEO of remote-help business AMA, mentioned in a statement that the prototype is an fantastic platform for his customers to make expense-successful glasses with more comfort and processing energy.
The core technologies inside Design v1 creates a potent development platform, and v1 comes common with DigiLens’ Crystal50 waveguides, the Snapdragon XR2 Platform, and the solution for partners to pair to their custom light engine or use the Coretronic 720p projector.
DigiLens’ Crystal50 waveguide has 4 instances much less eye glow than the optics in HoloLens 2, which tends to make it more transparent from the outdoors than Microsoft’s solution. The glasses have an eyebox of 12mm x 10mm, a field of view of 44°(h) x 25°(v), 50°(d), with a landscape orientation and a focus distance of infinity. That essentially implies you can see more of the world about you when wearing the glasses.
Because the waveguide show lenses are attachable, DigiLens can continue to refine their functionality and provide much better displays to partners more than time. DigiLens Design v1 will be readily available to certified partners beginning at the finish of June 2021.
DigiLens investors consist of business leaders UDC Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Niantic Labs, Sony Innovation Fund, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Continental, and more. DigiLens has been working on waveguide optics for the previous 18 years. The business has raised $85 million to date and has 80 workers.