All posts by Kayvan Mirza

Waveguide Combiners for AR Glasses

Description of various AR display technologies:

Various techniques have existed for some time for AR displays. Most of these techniques can be summarized into two main families: “Free Space Curved Mirror” based, and “Waveguide” or “Lightguide” based technologies. The curved mirror-based techniques use a semi-reflective curved reflector or a flat mirror placed in front of the eye with an off-axis optical projection system placed above the eye [1].  These techniques use what is known as a classical “bird bath” optical architecture and suffer from a large display module size since they do not use the pupil expansion technique. Generally, this type of architecture reduces the clearance for the user’s visual field (peripheral or lateral vision) since most of the bulk is located above or to the side of the smart glass frame. If curved free form reflectors are used, this technique suffers from a high amount of image distortion due to freeform non-telecentric optics.  Typically, this distortion needs to be corrected optically by using other elements in the optical path or electronically by the imager adding cost and/or reducing image resolution.  Moreover, certain implementations have a small “eye motion box” which is the equivalent of looking through a keyhole to see the image.  This is uncomfortable for the use and requires mechanical adjustment, further adding to complexity.  The major issue comes from the form factor which is not appealing for a consumer product (see figure 1 below).

Fig 1:  Two curved mirror display based smart glasses (ODG on left and NReal on right).

The second family is a simple combiner technique and the third is the so called “light-guide” or “waveguide” combiner-based techniques.  This architecture reduces the cumbersome display optics and electronics in the smart glasses and in the user’s line of sight.  Using a waveguide, the physical display and electronics can be moved to the side (near the user’s temples) to create more clearance and a fully unobstructed view of the world can be achieved, therefore enabling a more comfortable user experience and the possibilities of true augmented reality.  The use of waveguides implies  pupil expansion at the entry pupil of the display engine which reduces the footprint of the optics and lends itself to more ergonomically designed smart glasses. Various waveguide techniques have existed for some time for see-through AR displays.  These techniques include diffraction/holographic optics, polarized optics, and reflective optics.

Simple Reflective Mirror Combiner:

The reflective technologies have the advantage of using reflective optical components without diffraction or polarization states.  They do not suffer from the color non-uniformity issues since they use semi reflective mirrors therefore reflecting white light without any degradation. The possibility to use a molded plastic substrate for the light guide is also a key advantage of this technique.  This allows for high volume manufacturing at low cost and is inherently safer than glass.  As with the other combiner technologies, an optical collimator magnifies the image generated by a micro display and injects it into the light guide.  Through the TIR principle (total internal reflection), the light travels through the light guide and is extracted using a semi reflective mirrored structure using traditional coatings found throughout the optics industry.  This will allow the components to be made using traditional coating techniques, therefore reducing cost.  Consequently, any type of micro display can be used in this system since there is no polarization required (LCD, LCOS, OLED, DLP, MicroLED).  These reflective systems also tend to be more efficient in power consumption because there is no light loss due to polarization or grating/holographic effects.  The approach taken by both Epson and Google uses a single reflector embedded into the light guide (although Google implementation does not use TIR).  A reflective waveguide is used by Epson in their Moverio product while Google Glass uses a “light pipe” (no TIR technique is used). The problem with this approach is that the size of the reflector is directly proportional the FOV (Field of View) and eye motion box dimension, therefore the light guide becomes quite thick.  In both the Google and Epson cases, the light guide thickness is around 1cm as seen in the figure below. In Google’s case, there is also the additional problem that the light crosses the semi reflective mirror, bounces off a curved surface, and then is again reflected off the mirror towards the eye.  This causes additional light losses and high eye-glow.

Finally, we should mention that a thick light guide would hinder AR applications since it would introduce a high level of distortion for the see-through vision. That is why the Google Glass display is located in the upper right-hand corner of the user’s vision.

Fig. 5:  Left, Epson Moverio.  Right, Google Glass.

Waveguide Combiner Based Approaches:

Surface Relief Grating Diffractive Waveguide:

Diffraction of the image rays is performed by deep slanted surface gratings to in-couple collimated light entering the waveguide at a particular angle, another layer expands the pupil with light traveling through the waveguide using the principle of total internal reflection or “TIR”, and finally, the light is extracted to the eye with another set of slanted gratings [2].

This technique was invented initially by Nokia and then licensed to Vuzix.  It is also the technology used in the Hololens since Nokia was acquired by Microsoft.  Quite a few start-ups are also working on perfecting this technique such as WaveOptics in the UK and Dispelix in Finland.  Dispelix claims to introduce another diffraction level on top of the device to reduce the rainbow effect that is visible for all these types of technologies. The manufacturability remains to be proven on a large scale.

Fig. 2:  From right to left:  The Vuzix Blade, Microsoft Hololens, Dispelix waveguide and WaveOptics waveguide

The diffractive waveguide technique can achieve an attractive form factor for the AR display. A small entrance pupil is possible with this technique, therefore limiting the size of the display engine (collimation optics) and reducing the form factor of the AR glasses.  The light guide can be made reasonably thin and therefore can be fashioned into a normal looking lens shape for AR glasses. Furthermore, the technique has excellent see-through characteristics allowing an unobstructed view through the wave guide.  However, the diffraction grating technique presents some key intrinsic challenges. The first is producing the deep and slanted Nano-metric grating structures at low cost.  The technique for producing these deep slanted structures is not something that is commonplace today in traditional optical component manufacturing.  Therefore, the technique remains costly.  The second issue with this technique is that it produces color non-uniformity artefacts in the image.  Since light is in-coupled and out-coupled at a certain angle when it hits the diffraction structure, it creates a “rainbow effect” due to the variation of spectral reflectivity versus the incident angle within the image.  This means that the various reflected wavelengths do not have the same intensity when they encounter the diffraction pattern at an angle.  The diffractive technique therefore works best with monochrome based systems but that is a big limitation for the consumer space where full color is a must.  The third aspect is that this technology is intrinsically limited in field of view (FOV).  It is difficult to achieve large FOV displays (large virtual screens) using this technique due to the variation of spectral reflectivity vs. angle.  Recent advance in the availability of high index glass substrates along with certain pupil expansion techniques allows larger FOV, but to the detriment of color non-uniformity.  The higher the incidence angle, the higher the color non-uniformity.  If the FOV is increased beyond 20°, the color non-uniformity becomes very noticeable since the human eye is extremely sensitive to color non-uniformity variations.  The diffractive technique also suffers from high “eye glow” (residual light coming out of the light guide).  One cannot see the pupils of the wearer when the display is active, and this adds to the “cyborg” effect.  Another issue with this technique is power consumption.  The intrinsic losses related to the diffractive technique make it one of the least power efficient in comparison to other waveguide technologies.  This in turn will lead to reduced battery life for the smart glass device.  This is a key limitation since smart glasses need to be equipped with small batteries when compared to smart phones.  Last but certainly not least, these waveguides can only be made using glass substrates. This is an obvious safety concern when it comes to a consumer product and a likely showstopper.

Volume Phase Holographic Waveguide: 

The holographic technique is quite close to the diffraction grating technique described above with the exception that a holographic element is used to diffract the light [3].  Holograms work by reflecting certain wavelengths of light.  In this way, the incident light is reflected at a certain angle in regard to the hologram.  Holograms are intrinsically limited when used in a waveguide since the reflected light loses intensity with angular variation.  Only limited angles are possible in order not to lose too much light and to keep good image uniformity.  Therefore, this technique is intrinsically limited in FOV.  This technique is also plagued by color issues known as the “rainbow effect”.  Holographic elements reflect only one wavelength of light so for full color, three holograms are necessary; one that reflects Red, Green, and Blue respectively.  This not only adds cost but since the three holograms need to be “sandwiched” and aligned together, each wavelength of the light is slightly diffracted by the other color hologram adding color “cross-talk” in the image.  Therefore, the eye sees some color non-uniformity or color bleeding when viewing the virtual image.  Some of this color non-uniformity can be corrected electronically but there are limits to this as the human eye is extremely sensitive to this phenomenon.  This technique is used by Sony and Konica-Minolta as shown in figure 3 below. It should be mentioned that variations of this technique have emerged recently from some start-up companies like Trulife Optics, UK. Trulife is working on a new holographic material to increase the index variation necessary for a color display. However, the industrialization of this new material on a large scale is yet to be proven.  Akonia Optics (acquired by Apple) is another company that has been working on volume phase holographic waveguide techniques.

As with diffractive waveguides, holographic waveguides suffer many of the same issues such as color uniformity artefacts [4], the use of glass, and lack of power efficiency.  When it comes to a consumer product, these are constraints that will not allow large scale adoption.

Fig. 3:  Right, TrueLife Optics waveguide combiner.  Left, Sony AR display module.

Glass Reflective Mirror Array Combiner Light Guide:

The glass reflective waveguide technique is used by Lumus.  This technique uses the TIR principle and an array of polarized reflectors to expand the pupil and extract the light towards the eye pupil [5].  This technology does not suffer from the small FOV issues and the eye motion box can be quite large.  Furthermore, it has excellent see-through performance and does not suffer from the power efficiency issues unlike the holographic and diffractive techniques.  Therefore, it has some inherent advantages when compared to other combiner technologies.  However, this technique has several major drawbacks.  The polarized coatings are multilayer coatings of 25-30 layers each and must be deposited on glass as plastic is not compatible with this process.  With this technique, the “rainbow effect” of color non-uniformity also exists due to the polarization states.  Each reflector needs to have a different number of coatings ranging from 25 to 30 layers for the virtual image to be uniform. These reflectors are precisely glued together with extremely tight tolerances on parallelism, cut at an angle (again, with an extremely high level of parallelism), and polished in order to make the waveguide.    As an example, the latest waveguide from Lumus called the “Maximus” uses a first set of reflectors that expands the pupil and a second set to extract the light.  The result is a thin light guide with a relatively small entrance pupil making it possible to have a small display engine.  This goes in the right direction from an esthetics standpoint to get close to an eyeglass form factor.  However, approximately thirty different pieces of wafer glass are needed to make a single combiner.  This process is not geared towards high volume as there are potential manufacturing yield issues all along the process.

Fig. 4:  The Lumus Maximus combiner and AR Glass demonstrator

Monolithic Plastic Reflective Mirror Array Combiner Light Guide:

Optinvent’s is the only company offering a monolithic plastic reflective mirror array light guide. This technique is fundamentally a reflective combiner technology but uses a novel optical architecture and fabrication technique that differentiates it from all the others.  Optinvent uses a monolithic surface mirror array structure made up of several reflecting structures which uses the TIR principle and makes it possible to have a thinner light guide while maintaining a large eye motion box and large FOV.  This surface mirror array allows Optinvent to mould a monolithic light guide (out of one piece of plastic) which is then coated with a semi reflective coating.  A “cover plate” is glued to this piece of plastic to protect the structure and to assure the optical see-through function.  This cover plate component assures the see-through function by compensating the prismatic effect when the eye pupil focuses on the outside through the structure of the light guide.  This  architecture has all the advantages of reflective waveguide techniques without any disadvantages (virtually no eye-glow and colour issues, high efficiency, moulded plastic substrate, large eye box, and large FOV).  Moreover, it has the additional benefits of a thin waveguide made from one monolithic piece of plastic therefore improving the form factor and further reducing cost.  The main challenge of this technology is to mould the light guide and its surface structure precisely enough to meet the right compromise betweenperformance and cost.

Optinvent is working on its next generation combiner which has a small entrance pupil (4mm), uses a pupil expansion structure and an outcoupling mirror array to achieve a large FOV with a 2mm overall thickness.  It is made of two pieces of moulded plastic which are coated and glued together.  This will allow high volume manufacturing at an extremely low cost.  Virtually any lens shape can be achieved with this technique allowing very flexible smart glass industrial designs.  This approach is the only viable technique for a consumer product. It does not suffer from any of the issues faced by the other technologies.

Fig. 6:  Optinvent’s next generation “Clear-Vu” optical combiner architecture and a rendering of the light guide.


[1]: Hoshi et all, “Off axis Optical system consisting of aspherical surfaces without rotational symmetry” In Proc. Of SPIE volume 2653.

[2]: T. Levola, “Steroscopic Near to Eye Display using a Single Microdisplay” SID 07 Digest, pp. 1158-1159.

[3]: H. Mukawa. K. Akutsu, I. Matsumura, S. Nakano, T. Yoshida, M. Kuwahara, K. Aiki, M. Ogawa, “A Full Color Eyewear Display using Holographic Planar Waveguides’  SID 08 Digest, pp. 89-92.

[4]: B.Kress SPIE Press, 2020. Optical Architecture For Augmented-, Virtual-, And Mixed Reality Headsets.

[5]: PCT 2006 013565 A1, Lumus patent.



NexT GEneRation SMart INterconnectEd IoT

The vision of TERMINET is to provide a novel next generation reference architecture based on cutting-edge technologies such as SDN, multiple-access edge computing, and virtualisation for next generation IoT, while introducing new, intelligent IoT devices for low-latency, market-oriented use cases.

Optinvent is proud to be a partner of the Terminet EU Horizon 2020 project.  For more information, please go to our R&D projects page or to the Terminet homepage:

ORA Eye Logo

ORA-EYE Remote Maintenance Solution Released

Optinvent releases its ORA-EYE solution for hands free remote maintenance!

Optinvent now offers a complete solution for Remote Maintenance, Remote Diagnostics, Remote Guidance, and Remote Training professional use cases.

Remote Assistance is the the act of performing a task whereby a technician wearing an ORA-2 can communicate with an expert in another location “remotely” and hands free.

Information is exchanged through the ORA-2 which is equipped with a camera, see through display, sound, and a microphone..

The expert can guide the technician through complex tasks via a “see what I see” analogy.  This is similar to video conferencing except that the expert sees “through the eyes” of the technician instead of just seeing each other.

The technician wearing the smart device equipped with a camera transmits the video feed wirelessly wia WiFi through the network and gets instructions from the expert via voice and the display.  This obviously saves time and travel since the the technician and expert can be at different locations across the globe.

Remote Assistance can greatly improve the reliability and speed of maintenance operations and are an effective means of training technical staff to carry out complex tasks.

Please inquire about terms and pricing for a packaged solution of  ORA-EYE including ORA-2 smart glasses, software, and support for your environment:


The SMARTsurg video is here!


Here’s a video providing an overview of the SMARTsurg project:

Optinvent is one of the consortium partners in the SMARTsurg H2020 projet that addresses robot assisted surgery with the use of our smart glasses.

Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RAMIS) offers many advantages when compared to traditional MIS, including improved vision, precision and dexterity. While the popularity of RAMIS is steadily increasing, the potential for improving patient outcomes and penetrating into many procedures is not fully realised, largely because of serious limitations in the current instrumentation, control and feedback to the surgeon. Specifically, restricted access, lack of force feedback, and use of rigid tools in confined spaces filled with organs pose challenges to full adoption.

The SMARTsurg project aims to develop novel technology to overcome barriers to expansion of RAMIS to more procedures, focusing on real-world surgical scenarios of urology, vascular surgery, and soft tissue orthopaedic surgery.

The main vision of the SMARTsurg project is to enable complex minimally invasive surgical operations by developing a novel robotic platform for assisting the surgeon in such tasks.

You may find further information about the SMARTsurg project in the 2nd issue of the newsletter.

Important news and steps about SMARTsurg will be communicated through our newsletters, but also through social media, like Twitter and LinkedIn.



Optinvent Finalist in IOT/WT Innovation World Cup


Munich, 21st of December  This year`s IOT/WT Innovation World Cup® 2017/18 was an extraordinary edition, with more than 900 contestants worldwide registering to the competition and submitting their ground-breaking projects. Convinced especially by their innovativeness, technological feasibility, market readiness and strategic approaches, our panel of judges had the difficult task of selecting the top wearable finalists of the IOT/WT Innovation World Cup® 2017/18 in four categories (lifestyle, sports & fitness, healthcare and industrial).These 33 techpreneurs will become the rising stars of wearable technologies and we are looking forward to showcasing their innovative talent at the official pitch and award ceremony to be held in Munich on January 30th at the 12th WT |Wearable Technologies Conference 2018 EUROPE, THE global meeting point for the entire wearables ecosystem. There the wearable winners of the IOT/WT Innovation World Cup® 2017/18 will be announced in front of a large audience of industry and innovation experts coming from all around the globe to the leading event for wearable and connected devices.

The 33 nominated finalists will present their solutions at the Innovation Wildfire sessions during the WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2018 EUROPE.

The 33 finalists across four categories and 3 special prizes of partners EBV Elektronik, AIQ Smart Clothing, and Geeny by Telefónica NEXT are (in alphabetical order!):


  • HUG Gesture Control technology by HUG Innovations (India)
  • Kiddoo by Kiddoo Smartwatch for kids (Hong Kong)
  • ORA-X by Optinvent (France)
  • SimyBall by SimyLife Gamification (Austria)
  • The World’s First Hearable by Bragi (Germany)

Sports & Fitness:

  • Lumafit by Lumafit (Ireland)
  • Providing amateur athletes with affordable GPS technology by Sports Performance Tracking(Australia)
  • SUPA by SUPA (United States)
  • TRACKTICS football performance device by Tracktics (Germany)


  • Breaking the Traditional Model of ECG Monitoring by HealthWatch Technologies (Israel)
  • iBreve by iBreve (Spain)
  • TracPatch by Consensus Orthopedics (United States)
  • ViShruti by Ayata Intelligence (India)
  • Wearable and Treatable by WAT Medical Enterprise Ltd. (Canada)


  • Global Environmental Monitoring Network by MagnaSCI SRL (Romania)
  • IO, the first smart & connected industry 4.0 safety shoes by Intellinium (France)
  • TABS by TrackNet (United States)
  • TomTrack by Tomcoms (France)
  • WORKERBASE by Workerbase (Germany)

Smart Clothing Challenge powered by AiQ Smart Clothing:

  • CISM – CardioID Smart Monitoring by CardioID Technologies (Portugal)
  • HeartIn fit by HEARTIN INC. (United States)
  • SUPA by SUPA (United States)

EBV Elektronik’s IOT HERO finalists:

  • Hawa Dawa by Hawa Dawa (Germany)
  • MyClose, the first motorbike lock that calls you on your smartphone! By MYCLOSE (Italy)
  • Smart Lamp by Luke Roberts GmbH (Austria)
  • StethoMe™ – Home Stethoscope. A smart way to keep your child’s health in check by com Sp. z o. o. (Poland)
  • TipCrop Oasis by IoT Stars (United Kingdom)

The winner of the EBV IOT Hero 2018 will be awarded a cash prize of 10,000 Euro.

Geeny Connected Living Challenge by Telefónica NEXT:

  • Al Bicchiere by beexlab srl (Italy)
  • BrighTap by BrighTap/Bwareit (Israel)
  • Neurotech Fashion Project by 4-D Sp z.o.o (Poland)
  • Smart Lamp by Luke Roberts GmbH (Austria)
  • TipCrop Oasis by IoT Stars (United Kingdom)


Be sure to join us on January 30th at IOT/WT Innovation World Cup® 2017/18 pitch and award ceremony at the WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2018 EUROPE, where our wearable and special prizes’ finalists will present their solutions live on stage and the winners will be awarded!!

For further information on the ceremony, please visit


1st issue of the SMARTsurg newsletter is here!

SMARTsurg Newsletter #1

Optinvent is one of the consortium partners in the SMARTsurg H2020 projet that addresses robot assisted surgery with the use of our smart glasses.

Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (RAMIS) offers many advantages when compared to traditional MIS, including improved vision, precision and dexterity. While the popularity of RAMIS is steadily increasing, the potential for improving patient outcomes and penetrating into many procedures is not fully realised, largely because of serious limitations in the current instrumentation, control and feedback to the surgeon. Specifically, restricted access, lack of force feedback, and use of rigid tools in confined spaces filled with organs pose challenges to full adoption.

The SMARTsurg project aims to develop novel technology to overcome barriers to expansion of RAMIS to more procedures, focusing on real-world surgical scenarios of urology, vascular surgery, and soft tissue orthopaedic surgery.

The main vision of the SMARTsurg project is to enable complex minimally invasive surgical operations by developing a novel robotic platform for assisting the surgeon in such tasks.

You may find further information about the SMARTsurg project in the 1st issue of our newsletter.

Important news and steps about SMARTsurg will be communicated through our newsletters, but also through social media, like Twitter and LinkedIn.

We thank you for subscribing to our newsletter and we hope you will enjoy reading it.

The SMARTsurg Team


1709CV04 - Optinvent - Winners Logo

Optinvent CEO, Kayvan Mirza receives “CEO of the Year” Award

Kayvan Mirza, Optinvent’s CEO was recognized as Technology CEO of the Year by Corporate Vision Magazine who wrote a great article about Optinvent’s products, and vision, including the ORA-X.  Here’s the article:

CV Magazine Sept- 1709CV04

Here’s a link to the September Issue of CV Magazine (the article appears on page 22-23):


nxtbase logo

Our Partner NxtBase Innovates in Logistics with ORA-2

Here’s a link to the article on Potsdam TV:

Nxtbase Technologies Innovative IT company In Berlin / Brandenburg there are eleven thousand companies in the creative industry. Sales last more than 37 billion euros. If you want to be successful, you have to come up with something new. A company dedicated to innovation, Nxtbase Technologies. (translated from German)

For more info about NxtBase:


nxtbase logo

Our Partner NxtBase Innovates in Logistics with ORA-2

Here’s a link to the article on Potsdam TV:

Nxtbase Technologies Innovative IT company In Berlin / Brandenburg there are eleven thousand companies in the creative industry. Sales last more than 37 billion euros. If you want to be successful, you have to come up with something new. A company dedicated to innovation, Nxtbase Technologies. (translated from German)

For more info about NxtBase:



Optinvent named as IDC Innovator

International Data Corporation (IDC) has just released an IDC Innovators report recognizing five innovative hands-free augmented reality (AR) head mounted display (HMD) vendors with revenue under $100 million.

The five vendors named as IDC Innovators are DAQRI, Meta, ODG, Optinvent, and Vuzix.

Here’s what was said about Optinvent:

Optinvent’s head-mounted displays cater to specific industry verticals for greater hands-free productivity, such as manufacturing and logistics.

Read the entire press release here:


We’re Hiring! Job Posting for Optical Engineer

Optinvent is seeking an Optical Engineer to strength its current product development team.

Job description:

  • Optical Engineer with strong experience in optical design for imagery system (sequential and Non-sequential ray tracing).
  • The candidate will integrate a young and dynamic development team.
  • The Candidate will report to the Technical Manager.
  • The Contract type is CDD or CDI with trial period

Location : Rennes, France with some overseas travel

Experience :

  • 1-5 years experience in R&D & successful industrial product development is requested.
  • Strong experience in Optical simulation software (Code V, Zemax, etc.) for design, tolerancing and Merit function optimization.
  • Experience with Microdisplays is appreciated.
  • Experience in molded optical plastic components is a plus.

Salary and Benefits : To be discussed depending on experience

Availability :  The Job is open now

Please send CV to: with the subject SW Engineer Job Opening

We’re Hiring! Job Posting for Smart Glass Android Software Engineer

Job description for Software/User Interface Engineer:

Mission :

  • Manage the Android platform for ORA product line
  • Source code modifications (drivers, kernel and firmware) in relation with electronics supplier
  • Create a new use interface with the current sensors and implement a specific launcher
  • Technical support for customers and application developers
  • Software Test &t Validation for Augmented Reality Wearables
  • Power Management optimization for ORA product line
  • Update ORA SDK with more features on video streaming and new user interface
  • Manage application development with industrial partners
  • Active involvement in ORA product development
  • Fluent in English and French
  • Reports to Technical Manager

Location : Rennes, France with some overseas travel

  • Expérience : 3 to 5 Years in the development of Android  & Linux based systems. Good know how on Android Kernel systems and associated firmware. Experience in the development of intuitive user interface and Augemented Reality AR is appreciated.

Salary and Benefits : To be discussed depending on experience

Availability :  The Job is open now

Please send CV to: with the subject SW Engineer Job Opening


Optinvent Wins European Venture Summit


7 December 2016, Brussels/Düsseldorf – The 10th edition of the European Venture Summit (EVS), which took place on 5 & 6 December at the Congress Center Düsseldorf, united 130 upcoming entrepreneurs and 120 investors and industry representatives for a 2-day pitching, networking and idea-sharing spree. These 110 promising companies were filtered from over 1000 applications and 500 pitches held throughout Europe Unlimited and TechTour’s 2016 calendar.

Optinvent won the best pitch in the ICT category!  The full press release and the list of winners can be seen here:

The Jury of investors is available at:

We are proud to have gone through the rigorous selection process to participate at the event and then to have won in the ICT category.  The competition was fierce but Optinvent’s disruptive ORA-X smart AR headpones and the excellent quality of the presentation were what set Optinvent apart from the rest of the pack.

About the ORA-X:

Targeting music lovers on the go, the ORA-X is a brand new category, an Android powered smart AR headphone.  The ORA-X is a stylish headphone with high quality audio sound, a standalone Android computer, as well as a disruptive see-through retinal projection technology. 

“The ORA-X enables a new experience in mobile entertainment” says Kayvan Mirza, CEO and Co-Founder of Optinvent.  “Not only can you hear music, but you can ‘see music’.   And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.   As a standalone Android computer and a stylish pair of high-end headphones, the ORA-X will allow never before seen mobile entertainment applications such as watching music videos, mobile gaming, AR, and much more.  It will take headphones to the next level!”

About Optinvent

Optinvent is a world leader in AR eyewear and see-through retinal projection technology.  Optinvent’s team has 20+ years of experience in the field of consumer electronics and is recognized in the industry for developing cutting edge patented technologies and products.


Press contact:

Kayvan Mirza


Please click here for Video

Abovitz magic leap light field chip

L’analyse de Magic Leap : éclaircir certains mythes

Une analyse de la technologie de Magic Leap

Il y a déjà beaucoup d’articles à propos de Magic Leap donc nous avons pensé vous donner notre analyse de leur technologie.


On commencera par analyser certains des brevets clés de Magic Leap puisqu’il n’y a pas grand chose à ajouter en termes de démonstrations ou d’images de matériel qui sont déjà publiques.

Veuillez noter que l’analyse ci-dessous constitue une analyse d’Optinvent construite à partir d’une analyse de brevet et non à partir des mesures actuelles faites sur la démo de Magic Leap.

Les brevets de Magic Leap recouvrent deux grandes catégories :

  1. Les brevets liés aux logiciels de réalité augmentée : ces brevets font généralement des réclamations à propos du système de logiciel pour qu’il interagisse avec les images virtuelles en utilisant des lunettes intelligentes.
  2. Les brevets liés aux lunettes intelligentes et à l’optique : Les principales réclamations pour ces brevets sur les matériaux tournent autour de la technologie d’affichage.

La principale liste des brevets américains :

  • 2014/000376 A1
  • 2014/0071539 A1
  • 2013/01282230 A1
  • WO2014113506 A1

D’autres brevets existent et se trouvent dans la collection de brevets externes appartenant à Brian Schowengerdt (de l’Université de Washington) et à Samuel Miller.

Patent n° 2014/000376 A1

Objectif : permettre aux usager de voir une image virtuelle en 3D en concentrant le faisceau de l’image dans différents endroits de l’espace (en face de vous) en utilisant un système optique décrit dans les figures ci-dessous.

Le brevet revendique :

Un arrangement optique complexe composé d’un ensemble de plusieurs guides de lumière (pouvant s’élever à 36) qui utilisent des réflecteurs intégrés, où chaque guide de lumière est lui-même composé de plusieurs réflecteurs intégrés (environ 6).

Le dispositif de guidage de la lumière est éclairé par un dispositif laser à fibre spécifique avec des commutateurs électro-optiques qui prétendent faire partie du système. L’épaisseur totale de l’agencement de guide de lumière est calculée pour être de 1 cm de large.


Notre analyse: Ce type d’élément optique est extrêmement difficile à fabriquer en volume élevé en raison de sa complexité. Si Magic Leap réussit à le faire, il serait extrêmement coûteux à produire et pourrait prendre plusieurs années pour devenir pouvoir être utilisé par le consommateur. Une difficulté supplémentaire est que les réflecteurs revendiqués sont courbés avec différents types de revêtements exotiques et spécifiques entre chaque guide de lumière, assemblé dans une très petite zone.

Le laser à fibre optique de la complexité au système. Certains ensembles prétendent avoir de minuscules lentilles à cristaux liquides dont la faisabilité n’a pas encore été démontrée. En général, ce brevet se lit comme une liste de souhaits de quelqu’un qui n’a jamais produit du matériel et de l’optique en série. Les revendications se lisent comme des lignes de code sans aucune considération pour la faisabilité, le rendement, le coût et la qualité de la fabrication du matériel.

La complexité de l’arrangement revendiqué n’est pas seulement liée à l’optique, mais aux systèmes opto-électroniques, aux fibres vibratoires piézoélectriques, aux cristaux liquides, à l’assemblage mécanique, aux lasers et à l’électronique. Nous doutons de la faisabilité de fabrication d’un tel système. Il est douteux que les images que nous avons vues de la “puce photonique” que Abovitz, PDG de Magic Leap a montré soit un véritable élément de travail.

Patent n° 2014/00715539 A1

Objectif: breveter un guide de lumière courbe ?

Les revendications du brevet :

L’assemblage de deux guides de lumière séparés par de l’air. La lumière, provenant d’un système d’affichage micro, est couplée à une partie et est extraite vers l’oeil par un revêtement spécifique, comme on le voit sur la figure ci-dessous :

Notre analyse: Le système revendiqué n’est pas nouveau, Canon et Sony ont des concepts brevetés similaires. Peut-être Magic Leap leur a-t-il acheté une licence? L’épaisseur totale du guide de lumière de forme libre devant l’œil est comprise entre 12 et 15 mm pour un champ de vision modéré très épais. Il n’y a pas grand chose d’innovant dans ce brevet.

Patent n° 2013/01282230 A1

Objectif: résoudre le problème qui est d’avoir le même plan focal pour tout contenu dans le plan de l’image virtuelle en ajoutant un moyen de défocalisation et d’obstruction par dessus le guide de lumière ou sur l’affichage optique devant l’oeil comme on le voit dans la figure ci-dessous:

Les revendications de brevet: un motif plaqué de zone de diffraction avec un écran LCD ou un autre système d’affichage comme moyen d’obstruction pour basculer entre des plans focaux;

Notre analyse: les moyens revendiqués ci-dessus sont complexes avec un schéma directeur très difficile et nous doutons qu’ils fonctionneront comme la a été décrit. Le motif plaqué de la zone de diffraction générera des images fantômes. Les moyens d’obstruction, constitués d’un écran LCD ou d’un autre système d’affichage, réduiraient considérablement la luminosité. L’association d’un motif plaqué de zone de diffraction et d’un guide de lumière diffractive reste à démontrer. Ce brevet présente des concepts qui sont extrêmement difficiles à appliquer à la production de masse à un coût raisonnable si l’on considère les techniques de fabrication actuelles. C’est peut-être la raison pour laquelle Magic Leap a pris tellement de temps pour créer une démonstration publique, mais toujours pas de produit ?

Published patent n° WO2014113506 A1

Objectif: breveter un système de micro-affichage haute résolution qui peut réduire la taille du moteur optique et qui peut être déchargé des circuits de conduite à partir du périphérique portable.

Les revendications de brevet: un micro-affichage qui collimate et qui serait utilisé dans des lunettes intelligentes à l’aide d’un réseau de fibres optiques vibrantes (7 × 11) pour analyser l’image alimentée par une source de lumière laser située à l’écart de l’affichage lui-même. Le système cible la haute résolution.

Notre analyse: l’affichage “Fiber Scan Display” ou FSD tel que décrit sera très difficile à produire en ce qui concerne les tolérances, la précision requise et la luminosité, ainsi que les variations de couleurs sur l’image projetée. Le système revendiqué aura un coût très élevé et un rendement très faible en comparaison avec d’autres technologies d’affichage comme OLED, LCD, etc.. dotés  de systèmes de faisceaux collimatés.

Nous sommes surpris par la nécessité d’un système aussi complexe pour construire des lunettes intelligentes compactes et, par conséquent, viabilité de la technologie Magic Leap est douteuse lorsqu’il s’agit d’une production à un volume élevé et à un coût raisonnable. Il y a des articles qui prétendent que Magic Leap a abandonné ses projets de la construction de ce micro-affichage complexe à fibre optique vibratoire. Voici un excellent article sur le sujet:

Peut-être que ces affirmations sont vraies à en juger par la complexité de la construction d’une telle technologie. C’est dommage car nous avions déjà considéré que cette partie était la partie la plus faisable du système Magic Leap puisque nous avons vu un prototype de cet affichage il y a quelque temps …

Continue reading L’analyse de Magic Leap : éclaircir certains mythes

Abovitz magic leap light field chip

Magic Leap Analysis: Dispelling some of the Myths

An Analysis of Magic Leap’s Technology

There are lots of articles out there about Magic Leap so we though we would give you our analysis of their tech.


We’ll start by analyzing a few of Magic Leap’s key patents since there’s not much to go by in terms of real demos or images of the hardware that have been made public.

Please note that the analysis below is Optinvent’s opinion based on a patent analysis and not on actual measurements made on the Magic Leap demo.

Magic Leap patents cover two main categories :

  1. Patents related to Augmented Reality software: These patents generally make claims about the software system to interact with the virtual images using smart glasses.
  2. Patents related to the Smart Glass hardware and optics: The main claims for these hardware patents revolve around the display technology.

Main US Patents List:

  • 2014/000376 A1
  • 2014/0071539 A1
  • 2013/01282230 A1
  • WO2014113506 A1

Others patents exist from a collection of external patents that belong to Brian Schowengerdt (From Univsersity of Washington) and Samuel Miller.

Patent number 2014/000376 A1

Objective : Allow users to see a 3D virtual image by focusing the image beam in different locations in space (in front of you) using the optical system described in the figures below:


The patent claims:

A complex optical arrangement made of an assembly of several light guides (could be up to 36) that use embedded reflectors, where each light guide itself is made up of several embedded reflector (~6). The Light guide arrangement is illuminated by a specific fiber laser arrangement with Electro-optical switches that are claimed to be part of the system. The total thickness for the light guide arrangement is calculated to be 1cm thick.

Our Analysis: This type of optical element is extremely difficult to manufacture in high volume due to its complexity. If Magic Leap succeeds in doing it, it would be extremely costly to produce and could take several years to become a consumer reality. An additional difficulty is that the claimed reflectors are curved with different kinds of exotic and specific coatings between each light guide assembled in a very tiny area. The fiber laser adds an additional layer of complexity to the system. Some arrangements claim to have tiny liquid crystal lenses who’s feasibility has yet to be demonstrated. In general this patent is reads like a wish list of someone who’s never dealt with mass produced hardware and optics. The claims reads like lines of code without any consideration for hardware manufacturing feasibility, yield, cost, and reliability. The complexity of the claimed arrangement is not only related to the optics, but to the opto-electronic systems, piezo vibrating fiber, liquid crystal, mechanical assembly, lasers and electronics. We doubt the manufacturing feasibility of such a system. Its doubtful that the images we’ve seen of the “photonics chip” that Abovitz, Magic Leap’s CEO has been showing are a real working component.

Patent number 2014/00715539 A1

Objective: To patent a curved light guide?

The patent claims:

Two light guide assemblies separated by air. The light from a micro display system is in-coupled to one part and extracted toward the eye by a specific coating as seen in the figure below:


Our Analysis: The claimed system is not new, Canon and Sony have similar patented concepts. Maybe Magic Leap has bought a license from them?  The total thickness of the free form light guide in front of the eye is between 12 and 15mm for moderate FOV (field of view) which is very thick. There’s also nothing really innovative about this patent.

Patent number 2013/01282230 A1

Objective:  To solve the issue of having the same focal plane for any content in the virtual image plane by adding a means of defocus and obstruction over the light guide or display optics in front of the eye as seen in the figure below:

The patent claims: A diffractive zone plate pattern with an LCD or other display system as the obstructing means to switch between focal planes;

Our Analysis: The means claimed above are complex with a very challenging driving scheme and we are doubtful that they will work as described. The diffractive zone plate pattern will generate ghost images. The obstructing means made of an LCD or other display system would reduce the brightness significantly. The association of zone plate diffraction pattern and a diffractive light guide remains to be demonstrated. This patent present concepts that are extremely difficult to mass produce at a reasonable cost with current manufacturing techniques.  Maybe that’s the reason Magic Leap has been taking so long to come up with a public demo, much less a product?

Published patent number WO2014113506 A1

Objective: To patent a high resolution microdisplay system that can reduce the size of the optical engine and who’s driving circuits can be offloaded from the wearable device.

The patent claims: A collimated micro display to be used in Smart Glasses using a vibrating optical fiber array (7×11) to scan the image powered by a laser light source located away from the display itself. The system targets high resolution.

Our Analysis: The “Fiber Scan Display” or FSD system as described will be very difficult to produce regarding tolerances, required precision, and brightness as well as color variation over  the projected image. The claimed system will have a very high cost and very low yield in comparaison to other display technologies like OLED, LCD, etc.combined with collimated beam systems.  We are surprised by the need for such a complex system to build compact Smart Glasses and therefore are doubtful of the viability of Magic Leap’s technology when it comes to high volume production at a reasonable cost.  There are some articles that claim that Magic Leap has scrapped their plans on building this complex vibrating fiber optic FSB microdisplay.  Here’s an excellent article on the subject: 

Perhaps those claims are true judging from the complexity of building such tech.   That’s too bad because we had previously considered this part to be the most feasible part of the Magic Leap system since we saw a prototype of this display sometime ago…

Continue reading Magic Leap Analysis: Dispelling some of the Myths