Vuzix Corporation, supplier of smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technology and products, and Plessey, developer of advanced optoelectronic technologies, announced an exclusive display device design and long-term supply agreement. This agreement will support the development and production of next-generation AR products and solutions that combine Plessey’s microLED light source technology with Vuzix’ IP in smart glasses and optics technologies.

Vuzix has already developed an evolving family of smart glasses, culminating in the Vuzix Blade, the next generation smart display with a see-through viewing experience, via its proprietary waveguide optics. Formed from glass with precision nanostructures, the waveguide enables users to see high-resolution computer-generated graphics, images and information superimposed over images from the physical or real world.

Plessey’s microLED solution will simplify existing smart glasses’ complex optical systems of red, green and blue light sources and their additional optics, by replacing it with a single, self-emitting display which has integrated micro-optical elements. Size, weight and power reduction are key considerations in the AR wearables market. Existing light source systems have considerable losses, all the way through to the waveguide and optical systems around them, both bulky and complex, whereas an emissive microLED has very simple optical requirements, allowing for a much smaller footprint with minimal system losses, by placing the light source directly in front of the waveguide.

“We are very excited to expand our relationship with Plessey. Their microLED technology represents a key part of the solution needed to bring the form and functionality of Vuzix’ next generation smart glasses to the look and feel of fashion forward glasses that the world will be clamouring for,” said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix.

“By overcoming the difficulties of manufacturing microLEDs on a commercial scale, Plessey is playing a central role in providing next-generation technology to the augmented reality (AR) and display markets,” stated Mike Lee, president of corporate and business development at Plessey.