Lumus recently announced its next-gen waveguide technology for AR glasses, which will have a wider field of view and a brighter display, while being much more efficient than other solutions. We spoke to David Andrew Goldman, vice president of marketing, about Lumus’ new Z-lens design and technology to get the full scoop.
Building on the already impressive, reflective waveguides used in the 2D Maximus design, the second-generation Z-Lens can deliver a 3,000-nit display at 2K-by-2K resolution in an optical engine that’s 50% smaller and 50% brighter Can weigh less. gram (in a unicellular design). This makes it possible to create stylish, lightweight AR glasses without the tradeoffs like staining the lenses or having to charge them frequently.
The challenge with AR glasses is to get enough light for the display to allow a useful runtime while maintaining an attractive and unobtrusive appearance. The Lumus waveguide technology is estimated by AR display expert Carl Guttag to be five to ten times more efficient than competing solutions.
Goldman seems to have solved that problem with the Lumus Z-Lens and shared that the company is working with several tier-one tech companies on future AR glasses. It will take a few years for these products to launch, but it’s exciting to learn more about what to expect in late 2024 or early 2025.
The final design of the AR glasses is determined by the product manufacturer, but Goldman did share some details about what to reasonably expect in terms of product specifications and pricing. With a cost roughly comparable to a high-end smartphone, the AR glasses of the future won’t be cheap, but should be priced within reach of most consumers.
At that $1,000-plus price, you can expect a comfortable, lightweight pair of glasses built with Lumus Z-Lens waveguide technology to look similar to normal eyewear. The display will have a field of view of 50 to 80 degrees and the battery life will be sufficient for several hours of use. The bright, sharp display will be easy to read even when used outdoors.
Some features like calling and GPS location tracking will probably still require a smartphone, but most of the processing will take place within the AR glasses. As Lummus likes to say “the future is looking up,” and in the near future the need to glance down at your smartphone will be greatly reduced as AR progresses and becomes more commonplace.