Smartglasses get sleek with 60-in virtual display
A 60-in virtual display which can be integrated into ordinary glasses is in development and could be available to consumers within a year. The technology, developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, aims to deliver smartphone and tablet functionality directly to the users field of vision though a high-definition display. Spin-off company Dispelix Oy will commercialise the display, which is based on lightguide optics.
"As electronics and optics evolve, displays will even be seamlessly integrated into ordinary glasses," said Antti Sunnari, MD of Dispelix Oy. "The size of the virtual image is equivalent to a 60-in TV viewed from a distance of three metres.”
Lightguide optics enables the manufacture of displays on either glass or plastic in the form of light and thin elements with a thickness of just one millimetre. In addition to thinness, the benefits of the technology include a large, high-quality virtual image and excellent transparency. The display element can also be freely shaped.
"Compared to existing solutions, which are bulky or difficult to manufacture, the Dispelix solution has advantages such as the display's thinness, lightness, aesthetic appearance and volume production compatibility," said Sunnari.
The display's user-friendliness is boosted by the fact that the virtual image forms within the user's field of vision, which prevents eye strain. Dispelix's display solution can be customised to meet different customer needs – depending on the application, either simple, monochrome information or a multi-coloured video image can be displayed within the user's field of vision.
The company predicts that the display will boost work efficiency by allowing workers to use both hands in difficult conditions, or to learn more about the task as the work progresses. New applications for Dispelix's display technology and smartglasses are expected appear in areas such as healthcare, the manufacturing and process industry and logistics.
Dispelix is currently fund-raising and building a partner network in order to accelerate commercialisation. It says the displays are ready for volume production and the company aims to make the first customer deliveries in 2016.