Bosch Sensortec launches an innovative optical Light Drive system for smartglasses. The Bosch Smartglasses Light Drive module is a sole source, all-in-one technology stack consisting of MEMS mirrors, optical elements, sensors and a processing circuitry. This integrated solution delivers a clean visual experience with bright in-focus images – even in direct sunlight.
These all-day wearables offer complete transparency for the user, and is nearly invisible to others. There is no externally visible display or integrated camera, the two pitfalls that have alienated users of other smartglasses technologies to date. Bosch’s tiny module should also be of importance to those who wear spectacles for vision correction – Bosch says this is a significant market, since six out of ten people use corrective lenses every day.
“The Smartglasses Light Drive system is the smallest and lightest product on the market today and is, therefore, able to turn almost any regular spectacles into smartglasses,” says Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec. “By eliminating distracting phone usage, smartglasses can help improve driving safety and reduce the impulse of users to constantly check their mobile devices for notifications or messages.”
Innovative technology in a tiny package
A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based collimated light scanner inside the Bosch Smartglasses Light Drive module scans a holographic element (HOE) that is embedded in the lens of the smartglasses. This HOE redirects the light beam onto the human retina surface, directly painting a picture that is always in focus.
The technology enables hands-free, secure viewing of practically any data from a connected mobile device, such as a paired smartphone, overlaid in a comfortable viewing position. The projected high-resolution image is crisp, bright, private, and clearly visible even in direct sunlight thanks to its adaptive brightness.
The Bosch Light Drive technology is compatible with curved and corrective lenses, making this new tech appealing and available to users who already wear prescription glasses. Older competitor display technologies are hindered by a haze or rainbow glare called stray light that is visible when the system is switched off. The Bosch Light Drive technology provides pleasing all-day optical transparency with minimal stray light sensitivity, meaning the view is always crystal clear, and that distracting internal reflections are a thing of the past.
The new complete turnkey Light Drive system is the smallest comparable solution available on the market, delivering a depth reduction of 30% compared to existing solutions. It measures approximately 45-75 mm x 5-10 mm x 8 mm (L x H x W, depending on customer integration) and weighs less than 10 grams. This makes it easy for glasses manufacturers to flexibly reduce the width of the glasses frame to create a stylish design, and eliminate the visibly chunky design of first-generation smartglasses. Social acceptance and broad adoption have the potential to make retinal Light Drive technologies the next boom for manufacturers of consumer electronics display devices.
High-volume manufacturers can get their hands on the Bosch Smartglasses Light Drive solution in 2021.