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Vuzix, Plessey to Partner for Smart Glasses Technology

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PLYMOUTH, England, June 30, 2018 — Optronics solutions developer Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. is partnering with Vuzix to develop smart glasses technology.

The two companies are partnering to develop the necessary technologies for a new generation of augmented reality (AR) smart glasses based around the combination of Plessey’s microLED light source product family, Quanta-Brite, and Vuzix’s expertise and intellectual property in smart glasses and essential optic technologies.

Plessey has successfully demonstrated how its innovative monolithic microLED technology can be used to deliver smart glasses technology for a wide range of AR and mixed-reality (MR) applications for use both indoors and outdoors. In addition, Vuzix has already developed an evolving family of smart glasses, culminating in the Vuzix Blade, the next-generation smart display with see-through viewing experience via proprietary waveguide optics. Formed from glass with precision nanostructures, the waveguide is a key component in an AR/MR product, enabling users to see high-resolution computer-generated graphics, images, and information superimposed over images from the physical or real world.

In the development of its next-generation product, Vuzix has selected Plessey’s microLED-based Quanta-Brite light engine, which delivers extremely high efficiency and an improvement in lumen output compared to other light sources currently available on the market.

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 first-level micro-optical elements to create a bright, largely collimated and highly uniform light source for the illumination of DMD and LCOS display engines.


”Plessey’s Quanta-Brite microLED technology can be a major enabler of the future of augmented reality,” said Paul Travers, president and CEO of Vuzix. “As well as delivering high-efficiency, low-power, and small-size illumination capabilities, the very high level of luminescence of the Quanta-Brite light source can also enable the development of end products with a sleeker form factor, which is a key attribute of our waveguide-based smart glasses and critical to mass market adoption.”

”This development with Vuzix, a leading actor in the exploration of next-generation augmented reality, is a significant endorsement of Plessey’s GaN-on-silicon microLED approach,” said Keith Strickland, chief technology officer at Plessey. “Monolithic microLED technology is fast emerging as the only one that can provide high luminance in a very small form factor with minimal energy consumption, necessary for reducing costs and enabling lightweight battery-powered products for a range of emerging consumer and industrial applications.”


Published: June 2018
Glossary
augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that integrates digital information, typically in the form of computer-generated graphics, images, or data, with the real-world environment in real-time. AR enhances the user's perception of the physical world by overlaying or combining digital content onto the user's view of the real world, often through devices like smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, or specialized AR headsets. Key features and principles of augmented reality: Real-time...
BusinessPlessey SemiconductorVuzixsmart glassesOpticsaugmented realitypartnershipsEurope

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