Innovations in Displays and Optic Technologies Revolutionizing AR and VR

In recent years, the field of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) has made substantial progress. The advances in technology have also driven the AR/VR industry to the next level, from its science-fiction scenario to gaming and beyond. As both immersive technologies are still in their infancy, they are drawing rapid attention to the real-world applications. From manufacturing, retail to corporate, and real estate, AR and VR have made its way in companies’ strategic innovation plans.

Today, AR and VR are often mentioned together, but they are quite different. As VR allows users to be in a completely virtual environment, AR enables users to see both real scenes just in front of them and some virtual objects that do not exist in the real-world at the same time. Virtual reality gained significant recognition when Microsoft introduced its mixed reality HoloLens headset and Oculus brought VR headset at CES in 2013.

An overwhelming number of recent developments in the AR and VR space also provide a wide range of benefits as they have covered all aspects of life and business nowadays. These advances are imperative to the technology industry as it represents a major revolution in the way people interact with computers.

Despite relentless developments, there are also many developments in microdisplays, including OLED-on-Silicon and microLEDs, along with pancake optics to be able to deliver a proper pixel density, field of view (FOW) and form factor.

Technology and Market Analyst, Displays at Yole Développement (Yole), Zine Bouhamri said, “AR was and continues to be the dream that consumer electronics companies want to make real to deliver the long-awaited revolution of replacing smartphones. But as children of the flat panel display industry, we are used to having very high-quality displays all around us. And the image quality that AR has been able to provide so far is not yet at this level. Technology improvements such as waveguide optics and microLEDs will enable an increase in functionalities and use case developments. Without a compelling use case, the consumer will not jump into the game”.

The market research & strategy consulting company, Yole through its report, titled Displays and optics for AR & VR 2020, offers a comprehensive overview and in-depth understanding of the displays and optics markets associated with AR/VR industries. The company expects the first generation of headsets to come soon, with a 2021 milestone of a noticeable volume. These will be based on conventional optics with most likely either MEMS or OLED-on-silicon display solutions.

However, the extremely high development costs, the complexities of AR and VR devices and others remain challenging factors of these technologies, creating barriers to its way to enter the commercial world.

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