Luxexcel, the undisputed technology leader in 3D printed prescription lenses, and WaveOptics, a leading designer and manufacturer of waveguides and light engines, have collaborated to create 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 module enables technology companies to manufacture Augmented Reality prescription eyewear in a normal form factor similar to today’s conventional eyewear. The key components of the module can be customized, scaled, and manufactured in high-volume today to provide technology companies with an Augmented Reality prescription eyewear solution that best fits the requirements of the consumer market.
The module, manufactured with Luxexcel’s patented 3D printing platform, features a fully encapsulated waveguide in the curved body of a 3D printed prescription lens. High-quality images are maintained because the waveguide remains completely flat and an air gap is created during the printing process. The 3D printed structure also provides an accurate mounting for the projector ensuring perfect alignment when assembled into an optical module.
By integrating a waveguide into a 3D printed lens, the eyewear becomes thinner with an estimated 50 percent reduction in overall weight compared with legacy lenses. The waveguide is also protected by the lens material creating a rugged, dust, and waterproof solution.
Guido Groet, Chief Strategy Officer at Luxexcel says, “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 compete 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.”
This module will be shown for the first time at the SPIE. AR, VR, MR conference in March 2021 where both companies will feature in a virtual fireside chat to discuss the partnership and their respective technologies. Prototype samples of the module will be available for customers in Q2 2021.