Thursday, April 25, 2024

Formation of LaSAR Alliance To Develop Enhanced AR-Based Eyewear

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The collaboration aims to provide smart eyewear solution for rapid AR-enabled smart-glass application and adoption

With the aim to meet the technical challenges required for all-day wearable smart glasses, STMicroelectronics has announced the formation of the LaSAR Alliance (Laser Scanning for Augmented Reality), an ecosystem of leading technology developers, suppliers and manufacturers collaborating to develop and accelerate Augmented Reality (AR) smart-glass solutions. 

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Founding members in the LaSAR Alliance include Applied Materials, Dispelix, Mega1 and Osram, along with ST.

The eyewear developed by LaSAR alliance will balance a small, light-weight form factor and extremely low-power operation with good FoV (Field-of-View) and a large eyebox.

The LaSAR Alliance brings together all the foundational elements from various members such as:

  •  MEMS micro-mirror platform and BCD expertise from ST
  •  Compact illumination sources from Osram
  • Advanced waveguide elements from Applied Materials and Dispelix
  • Overall integration of these devices into a small optical light engine from Mega1

These elements can be assembled into AR-enabled smart glasses that are stylish, functional, comfortable and deliver critical application-specific information. The Alliance’s mission is to facilitate the development, availability and support of all key technology elements for rapid AR-enabled smart-glass application creation, adoption and volume production.

The founding members have associated together 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.

Integrating High-End Technologies

“With a high-performance, low-power, laser-beam scanning MEMS micro-mirror solution that combines MEMS mirrors, MEMS driver, laser driver and control software, ST recognised 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.

“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.”

“Dispelix is 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.

“Miniaturised modular integration and automated volume production play pivotal roles in the ultimate success of the next generation AR wearable. Mega1’s LBS solution integrates all critical modules into 1.2cc in 3g light-weight optical engine,” said CTO & COO, Makoto Masuda, Mega1.

“We constantly work to miniaturise and optimise our RGB (Red, Green, Blue) laser portfolio because we know size and power are critical parameters for our AR customers,” explains Jörg Strauss, General Manager and Vice President of Visualization & Laser at Osram Opto Semiconductors.


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