Mobile World Congress 2023 proved that AR and VR devices are becoming smaller, more powerful, and less cumbersome. New materials and technologies are powering these changes, but many devices still rely on glass optics.
Our flexible liquid crystal (LC) technology eliminates this reliance and brings advanced design and use-case possibilities to devices.
In this blog we look at four simple advantages of flexible liquid crystal optics for AR and VR.
Removing glass brings an immediate benefit: reduced weight.
Glass-based LC optics are well established, but the weight and thickness of glass are an issue, because—in many cases—each optical module comprises multiple LC cells.
Often, LC cells are stacked together to either focus light or to increase lens power. Nearly all the weight and volume added by glass cells comes from the glass itself. Flexible LC optics, at less than 100 microns thick and stackable, provide equal optical performance without the weight.
Improved designs and new form factors
A design close to ‘traditional’ glasses is the current focus of manufacturers as component sizes shrink and consumers look for something lightweight and less conspicuous. Flexible LC optics make this a reality.
Flexible LC optics’ reduced weight and suitability for biaxial curvature enable form factors for any use case. For example, a wide visor would allow for a much greater field of view and a vastly different design style and experience. Flexible LC optics can also be built into safety devices such as motorcycle or welding helmets, providing AR functionality in addition to protection.
Enhanced features: Ambient and local dimming, Tunable lenses
As we discussed in a previous blog, dimming is necessary for AR devices in high-contrast environments, such as outdoors in sunlight – it enhances the visibility of virtual objects.
With tunable lenses, focal distance is rapidly switched, bringing virtual objects and the environment into focus. This removes the uncomfortable effects of virtual distance and expected distance of an object being different. This is key for long term device wear, as it greatly improves user experience by increasing the visual ‘comfort zone’.
Lower manufacturing and environmental costs
Flexible LC optics are manufactured using TAC (Triacetyl cellulose), a renewable bioplastic that is highly recyclable and biodegradable.
Our manufacturing process uses far lower temperatures than glass optics (under 100°C). It also repurposes existing flat panel display production lines, removing the need for new equipment.
A definite advantage
Flexible LC optics bring these features at virtually no extra weight cost, enabling effective, comfortable VR and AR regardless of environment, form factor or use case.
If you’d like to know more about our technology, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org