When it comes to UK based work into augmented reality (AR) one of the biggest names out there must surely be WaveOptics. Much like fellow AR company Vuzix, it’s a name you hear often within the news and a company that keeps itself very busy.
Again, much like Vuzix, they focus on smart glasses, except they specifically on the design and manufacture of diffractive waveguides a key optical component in such AR related products with the aim of reducing the cumbersome size of some AR headsets currently seen on the market. Channelling light from a micro display to harness waveguide hologram physics and photonic crystals rather than more conventional AR projection. July last year saw the company secure a £12 million (GBP) investment in its technology from around the world. Which, the company said, would help position it as “a leader and key technology enabler” within the industry of AR development as it looks to experiences in the industrial, enterprise and consumer markets.
Their latest announcement sees WaveOptics partner with EV Group (EVG) – a leading supplier of wafer bonding and nano-imprint lithography equipment. In a move designed to help bring WaveOptics’ technology into the mass market. This continues a trend started earlier this year when WaveOptics announced another partnership, that time with Coretronic – again with the goal of reducing costs and making development easier.
“Leveraging EVG’s expertise in equipment and process technology for volume manufacturing will allow AR-end user products to hit the market by 2019 for under $600 – the lowest price point in the industry today.” The company said in a statement.
“This partnership marks an AR industry inflexion point and is a critical step in the mass manufacture of high quality AR solutions – a capability that has not been possible to date.” Said David Hayes, who joined the WaveOptics as their CEO last December. A combination of EVG’s expertise together with our scalable and versatile technology, will allow ar-end user products to be on the market for under $600 by the end of next year. This collaboration is key to unlocking the development of AR wearables; together we are well positioned to bring mass market innovation in AR, opening new paths to scalability at a lower cost than ever before.”
“We develop new technologies and processes to outperform the most complex challenges, helping our customers to successfully commercialise their new product ideas.” Added Corporate Technology Development and IP Director at EVG Markus Wimplinger. “For the proliferation of our leading edge Nanoimprint Lithography (NIL) technology, we have created our Nilphotonics Competence Centre. Within this framework, which has strong policies to protect our Customers’ IP, we support our customers on their product development and commercialisation journey from the feasibility to the production phase. This is exactly what we are doing today with Waveoptics, an established leader in AR, to provide a truly scalable solution to end customers.”
VRFocus will bring you more news from the AR industry very soon.