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21 May 2018 DigiLens switchable Bragg grating waveguide optics for augmented reality applications
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Abstract
DigiLens’s Switchable Bragg Grating (SBG) waveguides enable switchable, tunable and digitally reconfigurable color waveguide displays with a field of view, brightness and form factor surpassing those of competing technologies. DigiLens waveguides can be laminated to integrate multiple optical functions into a thin transparent device. DigiLens waveguide gratings are printed into a proprietary polymer and liquid crystal mixture that can provide any required combination of diffraction efficiency and angular bandwidth in a thin waveguide with high transparency and very low haze. The waveguide combines two key components: an image generation module, essentially a pico projector, and a holographic waveguide for propagating and expanding the image vertically and horizontally. Color is provided by a stack of monochrome waveguides each capable of addressing the entire field of view, incorporating an input rolled K-vector grating, a fold grating, and an output grating. Rolling the K-vectors expands the effective angular bandwidth of the waveguide. Fold gratings enable two-dimensional beam expansion in a single waveguide layer, which translates into lower manufacturing cost, reduced haze, and improved image brightness. The design of these complex SBGs is complicated by their birefringent properties, taking the design of DigiLens waveguides well beyond the frontiers of established ray-tracing codes. Our paper summarizes the key features of DigiLens waveguide technology and discusses our optical design methodology, with examples from DigiLens’s current waveguide HUD products.
© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jonathan D. Waldern, Alastair J. Grant, and Milan M. Popovich "DigiLens switchable Bragg grating waveguide optics for augmented reality applications", Proc. SPIE 10676, Digital Optics for Immersive Displays, 106760G (21 May 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2315719
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