Ruediger Sprengard, Ph.D.

Vice President Strategic Business Field Augmented Reality, Advanced Optics | SCHOTT AG
Ruediger Sprengard, Ph.D.
ABSTRACT

Waveguides for Augmented Reality – review of a technology landscape enabled by glass

Our expectation of the user experience of smartglasses is set by two technology realities: (1) close-to-perfect displays in smartphones, and (2) the fashionable wearability of smartwatches. Consequently, users do expect a deceptively genuine mixed realty experience and uncompromised all-day wearability. Waveguide-based combiner optics are generally agreed to represent the technologies of choice to eventually get there. In waveguides, different technologies, based on diffractive, reflective and holographic light management, are competing. We are discussing specifics and tradeoffs of those technologies, including image quality, power efficiency and overall maturity of the manufacturing ecosystem. Driven by the commitment to define the industry’s reference of waveguide materials and components, SCHOTT develops and commercializes dedicated products - such as SCHOTT RealView® to enable developers and manufacturers of AR optics to develop great devices. We report on recent progress and future roadmap on materials with ever higher refractive index and lower weight in the context of the industry’s hunger for wider Field-of-View, lower weight and high-volume manufacturability at a consumers' price point.