Bosch has developed an optical Light Drive module for smartglasses that packages together MEMS mirrors, optical elements, sensors and onboard processing. It will be showcased at CES 2020 in Las Vegas in early January and available to manufacturers in 2021.
The all-in-one technology can be used to turn most regular eyeglasses into smartglasses, according to Bosch Sensortec CEO Stefan Finkbeiner. “By eliminating distracting phone usage, smartglasses can help improve driving safety and reduce the impulse of drivers to constantly check their mobile devices for notifications or messages,” he said in a statement.
The module won’t be available until 2021 and can be used by smartglass manufacturers to develop finished products.
A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) light scanner inside the module scans a holographic element (HOE) that is embedded in the lens of the smartglasses. This HOE redirects the light beam onto the surface of the human retina, creating a picture that is always in focus, Bosch said.
The module can be paired with a smartphone for hands-free and secure viewing of practically any data, the company claimed. Projected high-res images are bright, crisp and private and visible in direct sunlight.
The Light Drive weighs less than 10 grams and is small enough to make it easy for manufacturers to use for stylish designs. Bosch contributed all the parts for the module including a smart sensor, a barometric sensor and a magnetometer. These sensors enable user interface features such as multi-tap functions on the frame. It is compatible with curved and corrective lenses.
Bosch posted a short online video showing models using the Light Drive to shop for food and drive a car with directions overlaid on their field of view. A driver sees a map in his field of view that shows an upcoming roundabout, for example.
Some models of smartglasses have been developed that use an external display or an integrated camera, but Bosch has eliminated both elements.