Smart glasses alliance launched to speed AR eyewear solutions

Smart glasses alliance launched to speed AR eyewear solutions

Business news |
Founding members of the LaSAR Alliance include Applied Materials, Dispelix, Mega1, and Osram, in addition to STMicroelectronics.
By Rich Pell

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An Alliance of companies has been formed to develop smart glasses with augmented reality (AR) displays

The LaSAR (Laser Scanning for Augmented Reality) Alliance aims to develop systems based on a digital micro-mirror technology from STMicroelectronics and LEDs from Osram.

The smart glasses will balance a small, light-weight form factor and extremely low-power operation with good FoV (Field-of-View) and a large eyebox. The founding members coalesced around the recognition that near-to-eye displays based on ST-developed Laser Beam Scanning (LBS) solutions have demonstrated the potential to meet all these requirements.

The LaSAR Alliance brings together the MEMS micro-mirror platform and BCD expertise from ST, compact illumination sources from Osram, advanced waveguide elements from Applied Materials and Dispelix, and the overall integration of these devices into a small optical light engine from Mega1.

These elements can be assembled into AR-enabled smart glasses for volume production using the Mega1’s LBS optical engine module that is 1.2 cubic cm and weighs 3g.

 “With its leadership developing and delivering in volume a high-performance, low-power, laser-beam scanning MEMS micro-mirror solution that combines MEMS mirrors, MEMS driver, laser driver, and control software, ST recognized the value of its technology to Augmented Reality and especially to Smart Glasses and Eyewear,” said Anton Hofmeister, Vice President and General Manager MEMS Microactuator Division, STMicroelectronics. “In working with Applied Materials, Dispelix, Osram, and Mega1 to bring their critical expertise to establish LaSAR, we see a powerful alliance of exceptional technical strength that aims to accelerate the adoption of Augmented Reality in comfortable Smart Glass eyewear through foundational developments.”

“We constantly work to miniaturize and optimize our RGB (Red, Green, Blue) laser portfolio because we know size and power are critical parameters for our AR customers,” said Jörg Strauss, General Manager and Vice President of Visualization & Laser at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Being a founding member of LaSAR enables us to contribute to the alliance’s technical strength that will help resolve the system challenges of LBS adoption in all-day-wear AR eyewear.”

“One of the most critical requirements needed to support widespread growth of the AR industry is the ability to manufacture high-quality, high-performance, affordable waveguides,” said Wayne McMillan, General Manager of Applied Materials’ Engineered Optics program. “Applied Materials is answering this need with our decades-long leadership in materials engineering and expertise in precision manufacturing at an industrial scale. We are excited to work with the LaSAR Alliance and others in the industry to accelerate the availability of all-day-wear smart glasses for AR applications.”

“Dispelix is delighted to join the LaSAR Alliance. We’re combining our world-leading waveguide technology with advanced technologies from the alliance partners to make it easier for our customers to integrate a complete display solution for advanced all-day wearables. Our innovations will set a new benchmark for what is already the thinnest and lightest waveguide technology in the industry – without sacrificing image quality,” said Juuso Olkkonen, Dispelix CTO and co-founder.

“Miniaturized modular integration and automated volume production play pivotal roles in the ultimate success of the next generation AR wearable. With aligned mission of LaSAR, Mega1 facilitates its strength to manufacture for volume production. We believe true AR adoption will come to realization soon with this powerful Alliance,” said CTO & COO, Makoto Masuda, Mega1.

www.st.com

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