October 13, 2022
TDK showcases smart glasses equipped with ultra-compact full color laser module at major exhibitions
- The world's smallest class of full-color laser module under development by TDK has been equipped in laser direct retinal projection smart glasses created in collaboration with QD Laser, Inc. The reduced size enables laser direct retinal projection in both eyes, and also establishes a higher viewing angle
- The ultra-compact full-color laser module is made possible by equipping a planar lightwave circuit jointly developed with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT)
- On display at TDK’s booth at major exhibitions CEATEC 2022 in Japan, electronica 2022 in Germany and CES 2023 in the USA
TDK Corporation (TSE:6762) will display first-of-its-kind smart glasses equipped with the world's smallest class* ultra-compact full-color laser module (FCLM) under development by TDK during CEATEC 2022, which starts on October 18, 2022.
The demonstration will showcase how projection is made possible for both eyes of the laser direct retinal projection glasses using the FCLM, overcoming the long-standing issue of displays with a narrow viewing angle. In the growing AR/VR smart glasses segment and metaverse-based society, this advancement is expected to expand potential uses of the technology and further accelerate the uptake of smart glasses.
The FCLM developed by TDK is in the smallest and lightest class of such devices at around one-tenth of previous products**, making it ideal for the development of stylish smart glasses. TDK's proprietary and long-established manufacturing technologies for magnetic heads of hard disk drives (HDD) were repurposed to create devices suited to new growth areas such as AR/VR smart glasses and the metaverse. The FCLM was jointly developed with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) by incorporating a Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) technology.
The FCLM was used as a key component in the smart glasses. Through joint development with QD Laser, Inc., which possesses outstanding laser direct retinal projection technologies, TDK created a demonstration sample of the smart glasses capable of laser direct retinal projection for both eyes, and around double the viewing angle of previous products. Laser direct retinal projection method makes images visible regardless of the viewer's eyesight. In addition, the ability to simultaneously see the real world scene through the glasses and view information displayed without having to shift focus enables new usage scenarios that are perfect for smart glasses. This is an important feature that cannot be achieved using other projection methods.
TDK will continue advancing the utility of its ultra-compact FCLM based on the results from this demonstration sample with the goal of promoting the widespread adoption of AR/VR smart glasses and metaverse-driven society, and accelerating growth efforts to put the module to practical use as soon as possible.
In addition to CEATEC 2022, the demonstration sample is also scheduled to be shown at electronica 2022 in Munich, Germany in November 2022, and at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, USA in January 2023.
* As of October 2022, according to TDK
** As of October 2022, according to TDK
Features & Applications
Main features and benefits
- Development of an ultra-compact, ultralight full-color laser module (FCLM)
- Enabling implementation in stylish AR/VR smart glasses and the metaverse
- Producing demonstration glasses with a dual-eye type wide viewing angle using the laser direct retinal projection method
- Enabling wearers to watch the scene beyond the glasses together with information displayed by the smart glasses without shifting focus
Full-color Laser Module
Planar Lightwave Circuit
5.5 mm x 10.8 mm x 2.6 mm
Full-color, 16.7million colors
Equipped with photo diodes for monitoring and temperature monitor