Smartglasses: Bosch Sensortec Launches Innovative Optical Light Drive System

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Smartglasses: Bosch Sensortec Launches Innovative Optical Light Drive System

In the new Light Drive module developed by Bosch Sensortec, the developers have avoided the two pitfalls that have alienated users of other smartglasses technologies

They have no externally visible display or integrated camera, and the small size allows designers to overcome the bulky, cumbersome characteristics of many of smartglasses available so far. Due to Bosch, this is the first turnkey system that enables smaller, lighter, more stylish smartglasses designs that meet the visual and comfort needs of everyone. The tiny module is also interesting for people who wear eyeglasses for vision correction – a significant market, since six out of ten people use corrective lenses every day.
Bosch’s Light Drive module is a sole source, all-in-one technology stack consisting of MEMS mirrors, optical elements, sensors, and onboard processing. This integrated solution delivers a clean visual experience with bright images that are always in focus – even in direct sunlight. The technology can also be applied to optimize performance of waveguide systems for which integration packages are in development.

The Smartglasses Light Drive system is the smallest and lightest product on the market today and is, therefore, able to turn almost any regular spectacles into smartglasses,

says Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec.

By eliminating distracting phone usage, smartglasses can help improve driving safety and reduce the impulse of users to constantly check their mobile devices for notifications or messages.

The system displays a good balance of just-in-time hands-free information in a minimalist format. Therefore it can be used for applications including navigation, calls, and notifications such as alarms, calendar reminders, and messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and WeChat. Everyday note-based information like to-do and shopping checklists are exceptionally convenient.
A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based collimated light scanner inside the Bosch Smartglasses Light Drive module scans a holographic element (HOE) that is embedded in the lens of the smartglasses. This HOE redirects the light beam onto the human retina surface, directly painting a picture that is always in focus.

Bosch Sensortec - Smartglasses

The turnkey Light Drive system is the smallest comparable solution available on the market, measuring approximately 45-75 mm x 5-10 mm x 8 mm (L x H x W, depending on customer integration) and weighs less than 10 grams. This makes it easy for glasses manufacturers to flexibly reduce the width of the glasses frame to create a stylish design, and eliminate the visibly chunky design of first-generation smartglasses. Social acceptance and broad adoption have the potential to make retinal Light Drive technologies the next boom for manufacturers of consumer electronics display devices.
The smartglasses module is enriched by several sensor solutions, such as Bosch’s smart sensor BHI260, the barometric pressure sensor BMP388, and the BMM150 magnetometer. The sensors enable intuitive user interface features such as multi-tap functions on the frame to improve convenience while operating the glasses. The Bosch Smartglasses Light Drive solution will be available in 2021 to high-volume manufacturers.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Bosch Sensortec

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