Augmented Reality Gets an Upgrade as Result of New Partnership Between Lumus and AddOptics


Let’s talk about augmented reality (AR) technology and a new partnership poised to further augment (pun sort-of intended) its potential.

The long-story-short version here is simple: AR displays superimpose digitally generated images on our physical world via headsets, smart glasses and the like. Such displays use what are called “light engines” to create the aforementioned images, as well as optical combiners to merge them (seamlessly, ideally) with one’s real-world environment. This is markedly different than virtual reality (VR), which full-on replaces one’s entire view and is based on the construction of a “new” reality without any relationship to (nor interaction with) what’s actually in front of (and what’s surrounding) the user. AR doesn’t replace; as its very name alludes to, it augments.

Like I said, simple.

Or is it?

According to new studies, traditional AR displays may be struggling to accurately simulate depth perception, for instance. This is important because the augmented content can leave users feeling, well, detached or distant from what they’re attempting to engage with in relation to their physical space. AR displays may also be in need of additional improvements; namely, to image quality and resolution with what users see, as well as to the overall hardware.

So, what can be done?

Well, the partnership news we’re talking about here may lead to that question’s answer:

We’ve got Lumus, an AR optics company developing reflective wavelength technology that’s less challenging to use – and is accessed via smarter hardware that “feels completely like normal glasses,” the company has stated. We’ve also got AddOptics with the tagline “the AR lens with prescription that fits into everyday smart-wear” with vision correction, customization and more that it manufactures.

Thus, it makes sense that these two have partnered.

Announced on Tuesday, Lumus and AddOptics will strategize together on how to, quote, “best redefine immersive AR glasses experiences for users worldwide.”

For those interested in the super-technical details, here’s an excerpt from the official announcement:

By combining a positive diopter lens (+0.50 D) with an equal but opposite negative diopter lens (-0.50 D), the companies have created a combined lens system with no net optical power (0.00 D) that brings the virtual image to the ideal viewing distance of a couple of meters – all while keeping the wearer’s view of physical world unchanged. AddOptics has proven to be an ideal partner for this collaboration, due to their expertise in creating lenses that are exceptionally thin, lightweight and ultra-flat – essential for precise waveguide bonding – and their innovative lens designs with unique, sharp edges enhance the integration of light engines.”

Furthermore, Lumus’ reflective wavelength technology allows AddOptics to bond its prescription lenses to Lumus’ waveguide without bulky, heavy inserts, creating an augmented optical solution more in line with the promises that fuel interest in AR.

“At Lumus, we are committed to making all-purpose AR eyewear a reality,” said Eli Glikman, Chief Product Officer at Lumus. “Our collaboration with AddOptics demonstrates the unique value of reflective or geometric waveguides by adding corrective lenses directly to our waveguides. AddOptics shares our mission of improving the overall experience to users, and our partnership represents a significant step forward in readying AR glasses for the masses. Together, we’re overcoming roadblocks that have dampened user experiences to deliver a new level of comfort and performance in a form factor practically indistinguishable from traditional eyewear.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Lumus to bring our prescription lens solutions to the forefront of AR technology,” added Joris Biskop, CEO of AddOptics. “Our collaboration offers users a seamless way to address the more than 70% of people who require corrective lenses to interact with digital content through AR glasses. By pairing our prescription lenses with Lumus’ reflective waveguides, we’re creating personalized AR experiences tailored to the unique visual needs of each user.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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