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  December 18, 2013
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Vuzix Smart Glasses Are First to Use Waveguide Optics

By Eye² Staff

Although there is plenty of excitement surrounding the introduction of heads-up displays in eyeglasses and eyeglass-like products, the form factor of this first generation of wearable technology for consumers is still evolving. The size, weight and unfamiliar appearance of the display may be off-putting to consumers who don't want to look like a cyborg. Some market observers believe that widespread consumer acceptance of these types of augmented reality (AR) eyewear won't happen until the displays are more completed integrated into the frame and lens design.

Now Vuzix, the Rochester, N.Y.-based company specializing in smart glasses, has come up with a new display technology based on Waveguide optics that solves some of these design issues. The company's new M2000AR HMD smart glasses, technology developed jointly with Nokia, features a Waveguide optics engine that for the first time enables smart eyewear technology to fit into standard eyeglass frames.

Waveguide optics are a fraction of the size and weight of conventional prism-based optics used in some wearable smart devices. Waveguide optics also deliver a much wider field of view for the user, according to Vuzix.

As opposed to requiring large optics to focus and create the required virtual image, Waveguide optics use a 1.4mm thin "window" (operating similar to a fiber optic) with a tiny input pupil that is expanded using a hologram in front of the eye. Light is not bent through bulk material as in conventional optics, which provides a significant improvement in mass, weight, volume, simplicity and overall optical performance.

The M2000AR also includes:

  • 720p display and 1080p camera
  • HDMI Interface
  • Electronic sunglass "tint"
  • 30deg FOV
  • Daylight usable with up to 8,000 Nits of brightness
  • Integrated head tracking
  • Integrated compass
  • Anodized aluminum alloy enclosure
  • Rechargeable lithium ion battery

Vuzix will demonstrate the M2000AR next month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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