A new platform is coming to us like a wave, which is likely to change the way we communicate, even the way we interact and behave. Forget your laptop, tablet, mobile phone or smart watch, say goodbye to your keyboard and mouse, and embrace a new wearable device that understands blinks, voice commands and gestures. A miniature camera will follow your fingertips and body, allowing you to move images and text as depicted in player number one, even further than VR depicted in matrix.
The basic technologies have been widely used by Google, Microsoft, oculus, magicleap and other pioneer companies, and there is a wide range of needs for these technologies, but they need to be improved to improve performance and reduce costs. The world’s largest players have moved on. At present, the function is the first and the form is the second. The scale economy will greatly reduce the production cost. In this field, three display technologies have reached the forefront. Among them, microoled is leading the other two technologies into the 22nd century.
AR / VR: development and change
The AR / VR hype is over, and over the past year, some serious players have been developing practical applications that can enhance the value of these devices. As far as market potential is concerned, we are still at the tip of the iceberg. It will not be a surprise that AR and hmvr will make great progress in the next ten years. We’ve seen major breakthroughs in size, weight and performance, and micro displays, optical engines, and tactile feedback components will be key drivers in this area. Innovative headwear equipment on display at CES and other venues has aroused great interest in “super smart” glasses. These wearable computers will provide eye opening features that allow wearers to interact with smartphones, health tracking devices and many other devices. The growing component ecosystem will provide continuous support for these new devices.
Google is the technology leader of the future
Google is trying to bring the 22nd century scene to mobile phones and other portable devices, and their next generation of “assistants” will show the power of AI on your portable devices. Imagine an assistant who can understand and process people’s verbal requests in real time – ten times faster. The voice enabled assistant can be completely customized for your life, work and even the way you drive. Suppose you get a call while you’re driving, and an “assistant” in glasses or elsewhere can tell you who’s calling and ask if you’d like to answer – without looking at the screen.
Look at what’s going on in face recognition. The device can now recognize you, greet you, and provide your unique information. It can even recognize the movements of the hands, which can turn music on and off or turn down the volume.
Now, GPS enabled maps are so smart that you can see street level photos with arrows instead of dots on the screen to depict walking routes. The only better is the Star Trek data, which, when traveling with you, says, “here’s a turn, friend.” You can also convert sounds into readable text (if you are in an office meeting and don’t want to disturb people around you).
Yes, the man-machine interface is becoming more and more fuzzy. AI will not only work with you like other humans, but also anticipate your needs and make life easier and easier.
Big players are flocking to new wearable devices
What’s going on with the micro displays is just jaw dropping. Global technology giants are joining in, making huge investments to improve technology and performance. New technologies and manufacturers are pouring into the field. The release of VR head display, the development of enabling technology and optimization components will make virtual reality leap to the forefront of personal computing. In fact, more than 10 million VR head displays have been shipped this year.
There is no doubt that micro display technology will meet the growing needs of various near eye displays and other “wearable devices”. The global micro display market is expected to reach 50 million units in 2024, including AR / VR systems, smart glasses, helmet mounted display (HMD) and head up display (HUD) – almost every application that requires high resolution. In the field of AR system, smart glasses and HUD, we have witnessed a great improvement in refresh rate, which can prevent motion sickness when wearing head display.
Performance improvement before market acceptance
Wearable sensors and innovative user interfaces, as well as near eye displays, optics and energy storage devices, are making great technological advances, and the performance and acceptance of all products are improving. Of course, before the technology is widely accepted by consumers, some improvements must be made. For example, the volume of components needs to be reduced and the efficiency must be improved to make the product have a longer service life before charging. In addition, components need to be “further hardened” to work in a variety of environments.
The wide market acceptance of a technology is closely related to its cost, so the cost must be reduced. Thanks to industry giants such as Google, apple, Microsoft and Facebook, their large investment will effectively drive down costs. Other key players include emagin, kopin, Sony, olightek and HIMAX. China also has a great interest in microoleds. These heavy players, as well as some new entrants, will help to find the best cost-effective balance to realize the vision of AR / VR as the next generation computing platform for business and entertainment. They will create new features and shapes to support future new near eye and on eye computers.
Reappear the military application of “high flying ambition”
High performance microoled for AR HMD has become the “standard configuration” for military pilots. In fact, some of the best HMDS today are used in military applications. Collins Aerospace’s $400000 hybrid reality (MR) helmet is a good example. The MR helmet is designed for pilots flying Lockheed Martin’s new F-35 aircraft and is visionary.
Rockwell Collins, Elbit and Lockheed Martin are some of the key players in this fast-growing industry, and they are increasingly improving product performance by constantly surpassing each other. Military applications require high brightness and contrast of transparent ar HUD. In many cases, AR information must compete with the strong light from outside, especially in sunlight.
The military needs more than 5000 CD / M2 high brightness displays. Pilots need this high brightness because perspective ar HMDS usually require very bright displays to overcome the problems encountered in this high altitude environment. The images and graphics in the aviation HMD must be bright enough for pilots to see them in white clouds and direct sunlight.
(contributed by 2kx2k microoled.. emagin)
The following is a brief introduction to the three major micro display technologies that will drive breakthroughs in Ar / VR and other man-machine devices in the next decade.
The most popular display technology is microoled. The OLED micro display market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 19% during 2019-2024. This technology is expected to have a significant impact on VR, military, industrial, medical and intelligent glasses applications. With ultra-thin, high brightness and contrast, microoleds are composed of solid-state silicon wafers. Their high-resolution fits perfectly with the head mounted AR / VR device, and their light weight and fast response speed are incomparable.
Compared with the entire display industry, the global market for microoleds is quite mild, but BOE and SeeYa plan to deliver 10 times more microoled displays in the future than they do today. Over the past 18 months, Fabs have invested more than $500 million in microoleds. There will be a significant increase in production this quarter, which is a recognition of the technology currently emerging from the cocoon. Continuous improvement indicates that microoled may dominate the micro display market in the next three to five years. That is to say, in the AR market, microled and microoled will meet hand in hand.
Microoled is a light-emitting device (LCOS display is a light valve). Instead of using polarizers or backlights, they use phosphor materials that emit light between the two electrodes. After being electrified between the two electrodes, monochromatic light will be emitted, and the required color will be generated through the color filter (red green blue). Microoled has excellent image quality and full-color spectrum, and response time is in a few microseconds. Their high resolution, deep color, low power consumption and high brightness make them very suitable for VR devices. Compact, fast and bright, the display can easily handle a wide range of industrial and consumer applications from the electronic viewfinder of high-end cameras to the high impact 3D headgear of VR. Of course, this technology is not without disadvantages, it is not so bright, expensive, and has life problems including varying degrees of aging.
Future microoled displays will have a resolution of 4K x 4K, brightness of more than 5000cd / m2, and the price of mass production is about 15% of today’s.
Silicon based liquid crystal (LCOS) displays are generally preferred for cost sensitive applications. First of all, these displays have been around for decades and cost a lot less than microoleds. Second, they also have ultra-high brightness and contrast, as well as energy and heating efficiency.
LCOS display consists of a liquid crystal material sandwiched between two plates. When a voltage is applied between the two plates, the liquid crystal molecule acts as a shutter or light valve to form a switching pixel together with a TFT (thin film transistor). Colors are generated using the filter at the top of the structure.
The materials and configurations to achieve this effect vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, some using nematic liquid crystals or ferroelectric crystals. LCOS devices usually have small gaps between pixels. Pixel spacing (the horizontal distance between pixels of the same color) can be as small as 8 microns, which is why it reduces the screen effect.
Although LCOS displays are cheap, they do not have the contrast or speed required for some applications, especially ar. In VR application, this technology is the main culprit of nausea caused by motion blur. In addition, monitors tend to be heavier, and they are not ideal for night vision lenses because the backlight is always on and therefore gives off low light.
At present, the market will bet on the micro LED technology which is still in its infancy. The display contains a number of tiny LEDs that self illuminate each display pixel. However, unlike OLEDs, microleds use inorganic materials. In addition, because microleds don’t require a separate backlight, you can get a darker black and a brighter white, and there’s no light leakage problem that often plagues traditional displays. Like OLEDs, microleds use each pixel as a light source, providing incredible contrast and color depth.
Microleds are much brighter than OLEDs, with a contrast of 1000000:1. As a light-emitting display, microleds do not need to rely on organic compounds to emit light, which is why they can provide perfect black, excellent color and almost perfect oblique viewing effect. They are also very thin and not easy to be aged, so they have a good application prospect in ar. Historically, due to their low resolution, LEDs have generally been suitable for applications where the viewer is a few feet to hundreds of feet away from the display, such as billboards and signs on buildings. However, microleds with high resolution can now enable displays for television and indoor applications where viewers are closer to the monitor.
Minileds for television and signage applications have been deployed, and microleds will follow suit for these applications. But microleds for micro displays have a long way to go. Will it go public in time to take advantage of AR emerging markets and break the supply chain? We’ll see.
Today’s technological level
LCoS MicroLED MicroOLED