AWE Asia 2022 World XR Industry Expo was successfully held in Shanghai Nadi Hotel. This conference brings together keynote speeches and roundtable forums from 50+ industry leaders, covering industries such as industry, medical care, entertainment, education, etc. The atmosphere of the forum is warm.

The concept of “metaverse” will explode in 2021. AR is considered to be one of the entry barriers to the metaverse, and transparent display components are considered to be the most critical part of creating AR equipment. At present, the world-recognized “optical waveguide” technology is the best solution for optical components of smart glasses.

In this AWE, Lingxi Weiguang brought new AR glasses reference models Aladdin Bi, Aladdin Zero2.0 and standard module products to the scene. At the same time, Chen Fei, vice president of Lingxi Microlight, was invited to give a keynote speech entitled “Technology illuminates “reality”, array optical waveguide technology will accelerate the landing of general-purpose AR glasses” at the AWE sub-forum, and the core shared the latest information of Lingxi Microlight. Product trends and the latest developments in 2D pupil dilated array optical waveguide technology.

60°FOV, bidirectional exit pupil expansion

The evolution of the 2D series of Lingxi Shimmer

At present, the AR glasses market is active, but the following three schemes are mostly used in optical display technology: free-form surface, BB scheme and optical waveguide scheme. Although the appearance of the BB scheme is less invasive than the prism scheme, the appearance is also different. Efforts are made to align with ordinary smart glasses, but the volume problem limited by the principle of fixed optical path is almost an insurmountable principle problem.

To solve the current optical display problem of AR glasses, to truly have AR glasses that look like ordinary glasses, the optical waveguide technology path has become an inevitable choice that cannot be bypassed.

Chen Fei said: “The current AR industry is at an inflection point, and 3D experience in the real environment through AR glasses is gradually becoming a reality. However, limited by the balance between AR optics in parameters such as volume, field of view, and eyeBox, For a long time, we have not been able to witness the advent of AR glasses that truly look like ordinary glasses and have excellent picture performance.”

So, what should the future AR technology that breaks the bottleneck look like? In 2021, Lingxi Microlight debuted the 2D-40 two-dimensional pupil dilated array optical waveguide module with 40°FOV to the market, breaking through the curse that optical waveguide technology cannot achieve large-view picture presentation.

Two-dimensional pupil dilating array optical waveguide technology realizes vertical and horizontal bidirectional exit pupil expansion at the same time, effectively increasing the exit pupil distance and eye movement range, and reducing the volume of the coupling part, so as to obtain sufficient brightness and high definition, allowing the wearer to have Better experience.

The two-dimensional pupil expanding array optical waveguide technology effectively solves the shortcomings of the general AR glasses in the market, such as small image, unclear image and heavy wearing, and brings a new reference solution for AR glasses to the market.

2D-40

Chen Fei said: “2D-40 is based on self-developed PAD technology, imaging and lighting are coupled into the same system, which makes the optomechanical volume of 2D-40 only 3g, which is lighter than a piece of A4 paper. At the same time, the two-dimensional pupil-expanding array optical waveguide needs a more mature mass production process blessing, and through technical improvements, the original 4-5 times cost increase is limited to the one-dimensional pupil expansion.”

After many iterations, the AR optical-mechanical module 2D-40 now has a mature technology, the production cost is controllable, and mass production can be realized, and the 2D-40 has been supplied as a customized sample to some partner companies of Lingxi Microlight. The next step will be to solve the problem of mass production.

Up to now, 2D-40 has entered the production stage in Wuxi factory. This type of product will truly prepare for the market iteration of the next-generation AR glasses whose frame effect is comparable to the BB solution, but at the same time, the thickness of the lens end is infinitely close to that of ordinary spectacle lenses.

2D-60

At the same time, Lingxi Microlight will also launch the latest 2D-60 two-dimensional pupil dilating array optical waveguide module at the optical expo after AWE. Like the 2D-40, it also has a lighter size, a shape that is extremely close to ordinary lenses, but directly increases the field of view to 60 degrees FOV.

2D-60 is a favorable counterattack to break another curse that optical waveguide technology cannot provide an immersive experience in terms of market positioning. Chen Fei believes that with the maturity and commercialization of the two-dimensional pupil-expanding optical array waveguide technology, the development of optical waveguides will completely break through the AR optical display. It is said that the field of view and hardware volume are a pair of contradictions. The next-generation AR glasses with high performance and strong look and feel have laid a solid foundation.

The audience gathered at the AWE Lingxi Shimmer booth

Aladdin Bi’s new product becomes the focus of the audience

In addition to the wonderful speeches, this year’s AWE exhibition also attracted a large number of professional audiences who came to visit the D3 booth to experience the full range of Lingxi Shimmer products in person.

Among them, Aladdin Zero 2.0 and binocular Aladdin Bi became the focus of the exhibition. At the same time, there are also many audiences who are new to AR optical waveguide technology, and have “first AR experience” on Lingxi micro-optical product modules (AW70Pro, AW81, AWO71).

At the scene, the audience showed great interest in Aladdin Bi, who made its debut at this exhibition.

Since Aladdin Bi has added a high-elastic stainless steel bow beam design to the structure, and adopted a neck-mounted split shape that is more in line with wearing habits, the audience was attracted by the shape of its extremely close to ordinary glasses, and they took pictures and punched in on the spot.

Aladdin Bi

In fact, in addition to being more suitable for ordinary glasses, the beam part of this design also takes into account the deformation of the waveguide sheet when people with different head types wear it at the beginning of the design. Such a suspended design enables Aladdin Bi to maintain the alignment display of the binocular waveguide sheet when worn by different people, effectively preventing the problem of display dislocation.

Of course, the biggest highlight is actually its binocular display. Aladdin Bi adopts the self-developed array optical waveguide display technology of Lingxi Microlight, with a quality of only 50g; a pair of AW70Pro optical display engines are built-in, and the resolution reaches 1280×720.

According to the feedback from the audience, Aladdin Bi has higher picture brightness and color saturation than the monocular display AR glasses on the market. This dual-frame superimposed presentation method enables it to have 3D display properties. Watching the 3D content screen while seeing the real world perspective, this visual experience of virtual and real integration makes the audience addicted.

In terms of weight, Aladdin Bi benefits from the ultra-thin module of AW70Pro, and the size of the glasses is only 50g. By linking the full-featured Type-C to the host, PC or mobile phone through the neck, you can truly change the second screen in seconds, and get a super-large format experience of nearly 110 inches at a distance of 3-5 meters.

In addition to Aladdin Bi shocking the audience, the Aladdin Zero 2.0 reference model that debuted this time was also praised by many live audiences.

Aladdin Zero2.0

Although it is a monocular display, in fact, the experience of Aladdin Zero 2.0 in terms of visual combination takes care of the real field of vision, and is more suitable for sports scenes such as running and cycling. In addition, the appearance adopts the bold design of piano paint, and the temples are replaced from ordinary 3D printed parts to TWS spatial audio Bluetooth touch temples, which are easy to use and smooth to switch. Our products have finally received positive feedback from the audience.

In addition, the Aladdin series has iterated three products: Aladdin Zero; Aladdin Zero2.0; Aladdin Bi. In the future, Lingxi Microlight will continue to develop new products of the Aladdin series using the two-dimensional pupil dilating array optical waveguide technology, and practically apply the two-dimensional pupil dilating array optical waveguide technology to AR glasses.

Of course, as an upstream component manufacturer, in addition to the Aladdin series reference models that attracted countless attention at the exhibition, all the standard modules of the AWE exhibition were also unveiled, which were watched by the audience.

Leading the AR Optical Engine Supply Chain

Build a win-win partner ecosystem

In the past 8 years, Lingxi Microlight, as an upstream component manufacturer, has overcome difficulties and achieved fruitful results in the field of AR core optical research and development relying on its leading technical capabilities in AR optical waveguide technology.

At present, Lingxi Microlight has obtained more than 120 core technology patents. The optical waveguide AR display solution adopted has surpassed the world level in terms of technology and mass production. It has achieved light weight earlier in China, and the array optical waveguide module has exceeded 85% Yield, with an annual production capacity of 100,000 pieces.

In addition, the R&D and accumulation of Lingxi’s low-light volume holographic waveguide grating technology has been completed, and the construction of a thousand-level clean room in the Wuxi production line has been completed. In 2023, the first batch of volume holographic optical waveguide lenses will be mass-produced across the board.

The optical waveguide module series of Lingxi Weiguang have been used in professional fields such as education, medical care, security, industrial inspection, military and special industries.

In 2021, in order to further promote the commercialization of AR optical waveguide technology, Lingxi Microlight officially launched the “Aladdin Developer Reference Program”, which aims to become a bridge for Lingxi Microlight to link mid-stream and downstream partners, focusing on Aladdin Zero The reference models jointly realize the iterative upgrade of AR glasses.

In 2022, Lingxi Weiguang received 150 million Series B financing from investors such as SDIC Meiya Fund, Fuzhikang, and Medicare. Since then, Lingxi Weiguang has increased the pace of process mass production and production line automation, and has continuously transformed self-developed technologies into commercialization capabilities, truly taking on the heavy responsibility of mass production and delivery.

Next, Lingxi Microlight will make more efforts in ecological cooperation; at the same time, it will continue to increase investment in the core research and development of optical waveguide technology, and gather mid-stream and downstream partners who have the same or similar ideas as ours to work together to create a “consumer-grade” AR” is the common goal to do something practical and continue to lay out a new future for the AR glasses industry.

Next month, the 2022 Optical Expo will be grandly opened in Shenzhen International Convention and Exhibition Center. Lingxi Microlight will debut with a full range of module products and two-dimensional pupil dilating array optical waveguide products, please wait and see!

Reviewing Editor: Peng Jing

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