One of the companies at the evening press events at CES was Zeiss. On display was a new waveguide technology the company has developed that is useful for see-through augmented reality applications.
The optic is designed to couple to a microdisplay imager. The image is directed by two turning mirrors – each with optical power – into a waveguide which propagates the image via total internal reflection (TIR). In front of the eye, the company has embedded a Fresnel lens that extracts and expands the image. The field of view s 15 degrees with a focal distance of 10 feet and an eyebox of 6×9 mm with an eye relief of 17mm. That’s a pretty standard spec for narrow field of view applications.
The photos show the optics fabricated on a substrate and the optics cut out and coated black for use with the microdisplay.
It’s interesting that the construction of the optic is done with injection molding. Zeiss says they spent quite a lot of effort getting this to a mass production process, so presumably, it will be, at least relatively, inexpensive. – (CC)