Schott's latest optical glass reduces the weight of Augmented Reality (AR) waveguides.
A major drawback to AR devices is the goggle's weight, which can cause discomfort, especially on
the user's nose.
With a new 20% lighter RI 1.9 high-index glass wafer, Schott can reduce a wearable's overall weight by roughly 7%.
The speciality glass manufacturer said its RealView 1.9 does not sacrifice image quality or durability, even with the dramatic reduction in density.
The new optical glass shaves five grammes off the weight of the waveguides currently used in AR devices, in which means a lighter, more comfortable, more immersive experience for the user.
Manufacturers designing consumer-grade products target a total device weight of 70 grammes, so saving five grammes only by incorporating the new lightweight glass is a milestone in material and device development.
The weight cut is mainly due to a reduced density of the material. The result: AR devices that offer highest wearing comfort while not compromising in image quality thanks to the 1.9 high-refractive index.
The company said this iteration of RealView maintains the highest RI available, allows for customization with anti-reflective coatings or other finishes, is mass-production ready with wafer sizes up to 300 mm (12 inches), and offers superb image quality.
Dr. Rüdiger Sprengard, Vice President Augmented Reality at Schott, said: "Every optical component in AR must push the boundaries of technology to keep manufacturing costs low, while also achieving a high-quality image, a large field of view, and a full immersion experience in a compact form factor without added weight or bulk."
"With those goals in mind, we created an all-new glass formulation that was tailor-made for AR use while pushing the limits of what was possible for density, clarity, and robustness."
Schott RealView 1.9 lightweight is not an existing optical glass retrofit for AR use.
Its formulation and processing were developed from scratch specifically for the AR application.
The company's glass scientists developed the glass formulation leveraging more than 125 years of heritage in Advanced Optics.
Schott's proprietary melting technology has been tailored to mass-produce this material.