In the middle of the year, SNAP acquired Waveoptics, the world’s leading optical module supplier over $ 500 million, and the optical path about AR glasses once again aroused discussions and thinking in the industry.
The major giants will be the mainstream in the future, and one of the key points of AR TOC is the optimization of the hardware form. “As the most critical and scarce core device in AR glasses,” every small step of the optical display module in technology indicates a big step of AR TOC.
In the AR industry chain, relative to downstream manufacturers are ready to go, and the upstream optical waveguide module manufacturers are extremely short. Due to the complexity of the technical process, the light wave guide module supplier with mass production capabilities can be said to be rare. Essence What kind of opinions do industry people have in the development of light waveguides in the AR industry?
In this issue, MAD GAZE is honored to invite three senior optical experts to discuss the current situation, application and future development trends of optical waves.
Talk about the technical application and development of Guangboida
(From left to right)
Guest No. 1: Jiao Yashao | Kenjia CMO
Master of Glasgow University in the United Kingdom. He once worked as a representative of a listed company in the United States and operated a scientific and technological innovation company incubator in Silicon Valley. In 17 years, he joined Kenjia, led the market sales team to serve the Fortune 500 companies around the world, and won many large manufacturers to mass -produce orders. It is one of the few sales leaders in the industry with tens of millions of AR optical project experience.
Guest No. 2: Zheng Yu | Founder of Ling Rhino Microbes & CEO
Graduated from the Institute of Quantum Electronics at Peking University. Focusing on the research of the augmented reality AR optical display technology, it has obtained nearly 50 national invention patents. Adhering to the use of AR glasses to realize the concept of application scenarios and the same size as ordinary glasses, it is committed to promoting optical display technological innovation and innovation, and Consumption -level AR change and development.
Guest No. 3: Zhou Ming | Mad Gaze optical expert
He received a PhD in optical engineering at the Shanghai Optical Machinery of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and successively served in the Shanghai Institute of Technology Physics and Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. At present, the development of geometric and diffraction optical components based on near -eye display technology.
Q: As an AR underlying technology, optical display has always been the core of consumer AR products. At present, a variety of optical solutions on the market coexist, from prisms, free curves, to BB, to light waveguides, etc. Which optical display scheme in the future will become the mainstream? why?
: I want to define here, how long is it in the future, 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years? If it is based on 5 years, the mainstream of consumer AR products within 5 years is “free curved prism”. Five years later, I guess it may be free curved+waveguide. First of all, free curved surfaces not only refer to a type of AR optical product form, but a high -level optical surface description that can be applied to almost all optical products to improve optical effects, reduce volume, and improve display clarity. For example, at the Xiaomi conference on August 10, camera technology applied free curved surface technology. If there is AR optical company that the free curved surface is backward, there is reason to doubt the company’s professionalism.
Consumption -level AR optical products, the so -called “consumer”, the basic requirement is that the appearance is thin+long battery life+low cost+large -scale supply. For the above requirements, the corresponding optical module is “thickness and thin” (here is very important, you cannot just look at the thickness of optical lenses, depending on the thickness of the entire optical module), “high optical effect” The machine, as well as a long battery life), the “low cost” (whether the optical module meta component involves independence) and “mass production” (whether the optical module system is complicated). Based on this, free curved prisms with thin structure and close shape are close to ordinary glasses, and they have the four characteristics of the same four characteristics.
As for 5 years, it is necessary to look at the level of technological progress in the next three years. If there is no substantial breakthrough, theoretically, we will have to wait in theory.
: Now the worldwide optical display technology has undergone several stages of changes. At present, the relatively mature optical display schemes in the market include prisms, free surfaces, BBs, and optical waveguides. In terms of transparency, AR glasses can not make AR glasses a lightweight product, and affect the sense of wearable experience. The light wave guide can solve the natural contradiction between the angle and volume of the field of view. Regardless of the optical effect, the appearance, and the prospect of mass production, the optical wave guide has very good development potential. The consumer -level choice, our spiritual rhinoceros has always been deeply cultivated in light waveguide technology, and has also broke through many production process problems in the field of light wave guide.
: At present, most of the products on the market are prisms and Birdbath products, such as Glow Plus and other products launched by Mad Gaze. This product has the characteristics of large fields and bright colors. Suitable for applications such as reading, film and television viewing. The optical wave guide solution can effectively reduce the thickness of the product lens, reduce the weight, make AR products more like a traditional glasses, and can achieve myopia correction function. It will be the mainstream near-vision display scheme in 2-3 years. The main application scenarios include navigation, information interaction, professional drawing design, etc.
Q: There are two main types of optical wave guides, array of light waveguide and diffraction light waveguides. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two light wave guides? What are the breakthroughs in the process and technology of the process?
: The advantage of waveguide is that it can be done high, thin, and closer to glasses in shape, but the disadvantages are also very obvious. The array wave guide has high requirements for processing technology, and it is almost impossible to complete high -quality mass production. The image will be splitted by splicing between different reflex surfaces. The reliability of optical glass materials is not high, and it cannot pass the test of falling, vibration, etc.
The rainbow pattern of the diffraction optical waveguide is determined by the principle of optical design. At present, there is no way to completely eliminate it, so the color display effect needs to be further improved.
: In the direction of the entire optical waveguide technology, we can divide the optical solution into two directions. One is the array optical wave guide represented by our main overseas competitors Lumus. The big advantage is very popular with the industry. The production process of the array waveguide is a mature optical processing technology, such as coating, polishing, and glue. These processes have been widely used in the lens industry and the optical communication industry and the annual shipments are more than one million levels. The corresponding equipment such as coating machines, multi -axis polishing machines, milling machines, etc. Complete national production.
However, to prepare excellent performance of the optical waveguide lens, it must have requirements for polishing accuracy, complex membrane system preparation, and optical fit ability. You must have continuous breakthrough innovation on the basis of traditional craftsmanship, otherwise there will be heavy shadows and so on. Display effect defects and the problem of poor product consistency, which affects mass production and production, which is difficult to surpass the obstacles for most domestic manufacturers. Therefore, the domestic general views believe that the array of light wave guides is difficult to mass production, so research and development Polida films are more to increase the yield, increase production capacity, further reduce costs, and will be more conducive to the development of 2C in the future.
On the other hand, the diffraction optical waveguide represented by Microsoft and Magic Leap has the advantages of large viewing corners and large -eye range, but the diffraction color dispersing causes the image to “rainbow” and halo. Large, high design threshold.
: The array light waveguide and the diffraction waveguide have similar optical imaging principles. Its optical design ideas are all reflected in the beam in the 2-3mm thin lens. After encountering optical components, reflection enters the human eye. The array optical wave guide uses the reflex mirror array as the pupil component, and the diffraction waveguide uses a grating array to list the pupils. Both of these components are common optical components. The reflector array has the characteristics of colorless differences and high brightness, and has obtained a certain scale of mass production. The diffraction waveguide has the characteristics of high resolution and easy to copy production, but the color difference is limited to its application in the color field.
Q: At present, where is the biggest difficulty of the existence of Lights Guide Technology and how to increase the rate of good products?
: The array waveguide requires high refractive index matching of glue and glass materials; the parallelism of the glass cut surface and the parallelism after the glue are high, which exceeds the current level of process.
There is no major problem in the mass production of diffraction waveguides. It is relatively easier than the waveguide. It can be achieved with semiconductor integrated circuit process, but a large amount of expensive equipment needs to be invested, and the threshold is higher. It is reported that a manufacturer has invested hundreds of millions of dollars for mass production of Wave Optics for equipment procurement and process research and development, but no breakthroughs have been achieved at present.
: At present, the biggest difficulty in the existence of light wave guides in mass production is that the yield is not guaranteed. In order to improve the rate of good products, we must first find the key factors that determine the good product rate. The light source system is a complex system. There are various factors that will be mixed together. If a sub -product appears, it is difficult to find what causes it. I think that the most important thing to improve the yield is to need some innovative craft methods in the process. In 2019, our spirit rhino -micro -light builds its own optical waveguide production line. The source of the quality wave guide is solved at the source. The value can reach more than 85%in terms of value. In the future, as the process accuracy increases, this value can reach more than 95%or even higher.
: As analyzed above, the core component grating and microscopic mirror in the diffraction waveguide and the array waveguide are common optical elements, and there is no obstacle in R & D. The production array waveguide is relatively difficult, and there is no good solution to solve the process efficiency of multiple reflex splicing stitching. If the diffraction waveguide does not consider the color difference, it is relatively easy to mass production of monochrome lens. If you consider color, you need to combine at least two groups of wave conductors and reasonably distribute the image color, which challenges the optical design and craftsmanship.
Q: What do you think in the application of optical module research and development and marketing?
: At present, different optical modules have their own shortcomings. At present, none of them can be balanced in all aspects. Therefore, development should be developed for different application scenarios. At the same time, other optical module products also have their own characteristics to meet the needs of the commercialization of certain vertical fields. Of course, it is because of the case where it can stabilize mass production in large quantities.
: The research and development path of optical modules is still long and twisted. Generally speaking, the application market is also relatively scarce. AR glasses are currently mainly used in B-end industries such as industry and manufacturing. Explosion period. For example, the AR+infrared that the Ling Rhino Micromio has been used in the B -end application cooperation project can provide a lot of help for epidemic prevention testing. AR combines voice recognition, provides assistance to communicating with normal people, etc. The waveguide technology will realize commercialization, and through more areas of the downstream of the industrial chain, the unlimited development of consumer AR and other scenarios will be achieved.
: The research and development and market commercialization of optical modules should still be mainly functional products in the next 3-5 years. For example, solve the pain points and partial display technologies of some industry applications, and develop different optical modules for different application scenarios. For example, the demand for film and television and reading can develop prisms and Birdbath products, and can develop waveguide modules for portable applications.
Q: With the continuous exploration and innovation of the optical wave guide plan, what do you think is the ultimate form of the ideal display of optical display? How long does it take to implement this plan? What kind of imagination does this bring to AR glasses products?
: I think the ultimate form of the ideal is “Make AR glasses look like ordinary glasses, with more industrial design and fashion factors.” In terms of time, let’s talk about 5 years first. As for the imagination space of AR glasses, AR glasses will officially take over PCs and mobile phones in the future, becoming the latest generation of human -computer interaction platforms.
: I think the ultimate shape of AR glasses in the future is that the appearance is as ordinary glasses, and it shows that it is the same as the world we see in daily life. At present, Apple is starting to lay out AR glasses. It is expected that AR glasses closer to ordinary glasses will be released in the next three years. The technical direction provides them with technical support to reflect our technical strength. In the future, AR glasses are small in size, large viewing corners, and high clarity. It is no longer a high -end luxury goods, but an ordinary product that everyone can afford.
: In the future, optical display technology should be a variety of functions such as portable, color, big field, 3D, interaction and other functions. The ideal ultimate display form may be AR glasses, or it may be a portable holographic projection technology that is still in the conceptual stage, or retinal projection technology. Human eyes are the main means to obtain external information. If AR glasses can supplement most of the existing display technologies, such as mobile phone screens, TV screens, e -book screens, etc. On this basis, more functions and applications will be developed, which will be a technical update of display technology, while driving the electronic industry upgrade and promoting new consumption.
Q: Currently among the AR optical display suppliers at home and abroad, what do you think of those who have the most top optical solution so far? What development is the overall domestic optical supplier? How to speed up the layout in the future and deeply cultivate the global market?
: The most TOP optical solution, the direction of the wave guide should be HoloLens self -developed optical solution; the free curved prism program should be Kenjia’s upcoming “free curved diamond Nedfdb049038AHP”; Essence
From the perspective of research and development, domestic optical suppliers are at a world -class level and at a rapid rise. From the perspective of stable mass production, it is in a two -level differentiation situation. Because of the entry of large factories, its control over the supply chain is extremely strict, and it is difficult to enter. At present, only a few AR optical suppliers can enter except for traditional large manufacturers such as Crystal and Shunyu. Nedica has now become the official mass production supplier of Lenovo, Foxconn, BOE and other large manufacturers, and indirectly entered the supply chain system of Hikvision. Starting from the end of last year, it has provided stable and batch supply for brand factories.
In the future, the research and development of AR optics will break the existing traditional ideas. Optical technologies such as free curved surfaces and waveguards must be closely integrated, and the advantages of their respective technologies will be integrated into an AR optical product with a balanced performance and mass production.
: Like foreign Lumus, Wave Optics, domestic Baidu, Huawei, Lenovo, etc. they have relatively good results in optical display. At present, domestic optical display technology is still not mature enough, and the overall domestic optical supplier is still in a relatively basic exploration stage. We have maintained the optical engine of the core device since its establishment at the beginning of the establishment, and is committed to providing enterprise users with consumer AR core display technology and optical solutions. Follow in the AR global market.
: At present, in AR optical display technology, the optical wave guide is the mainstream of research and development, and prisms and Birdbath products are mainstream. At present, the prisms and Birdbath products launched by MAD GAZE are already similar first -class products at home and abroad. In the field of array waveguide, Lumus companies have mass production capabilities internationally internationally. Dordent waveguide Wave Optics, Sony, Apple and other companies have developed many years of layout. Domestic optical suppliers are in a preliminary stage. In the future, we should further develop application scenarios, solve the pain points of existing display technology in certain industries, develop corresponding products, and gradually promote the application.
As a current high -end high -end optical device, the optical wave guide module is a technical accumulation and a long process research and development cycle of research and development of mass production and good product rates. Each technical difficulty breakthrough or investment and integration will cause collective attention upstream and downstream of the industrial chain. The AR glasses form with “lighter, thinner, and closer to ordinary glasses” is the basic consensus of the industry’s future outbreak of AR TOC, while the optical waveguide is a key part of promoting AR marketization. This year, MAD GAZE is about to launch the fifth -generation self -developed optical wave guide AR smart glasses, which goes further in the AR TOC track, so stay tuned.
Disclaimer: The release of the official release of the press release is not related to the VR gyro.