Vuzix to Use Plessey microLED Technology to Develop Next Generation AR Smart Glasses

Posted Jun 06, 2018 by Plessey Semiconductors Ltd

Vuzix Corporation, a leading supplier of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies has partnered with Plessey Semiconductor to develop advanced display engines for Vuzix waveguide optics to enable next generation AR Smart Glasses. The combination of Vuzix' extensive expertise and IP in smart glasses and waveguide optic technologies along with Plessey's microLED light source product family, Quanta-Brite will be the basis for a new generation of AR Smart Glasses with the sleekest form factors to date.

In the development of its next-generation waveguide based products, Vuzix has selected Plessey's microLED-based Quanta-Brite light engine, which delivers extremely high efficiency with significant improvements in lumen output compared to other light sources currently available on the market. The smaller and more efficient microLED based Quanta-Brite light engine will not only result in less energy consumption and improved battery life, but also enables Vuzix to cut a significant amount of volume from the display engine in future generations of our waveguide based smart glasses, while at the same time delivering improved optical performance at a reduced cost. 

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 micro-optical elements to create a bright, largely collimated and highly uniform light source for the illumination in advanced 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.

The combination of Vuzix' recently announced collaboration with Qualcomm around the Snapdragon XR1 platform and Plessey's Quanta-Brite microLED technology along with next generation waveguide optics should enable the company to develop powerful AR smart glasses in form factors nearly indistinguishable from regular eyeglasses. These new AR Glasses, expected to be introduced in 2019, should lead the market in terms of processing power designed for AR, overall imaging performance and most importantly style.