All posts by Kayvan Mirza


Optinvent CEO to speak at AR in Industry Berlin

Optinvent’s CEO Kayvan Mirza will be speaking at the Augmented Reality in the Industry event in Berlin Germany on the 29th of November.

Come see Kayvan’s presentation about the future of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality for Industry at this important event!

There will be many industry experts and companies at this prestigous event.  Some of these include:

Prof. Gerrit Meixner
Director at Usability and Interaction Technology Laboratory (UniTyLab) Heilbronn University
Martin Hengstmann, Manager Business Development, iTiZZiMO
Peter Kärrlander, Head of Event & Exhibiton, Scania CV AB
Dr Sebastian Knödel, Director of Research and Development, Diota
Simon Levitt, Ford Global Technical Director, Imagination
Jürgen Lumera, Director Global TIS Product Management and Innovation, BOSCH Automotive Service Solutions
Kayvan Mirza, CEO, Optinvent
Patrick Nebout, Head of Advanced Technology Dev., Visteon
Dr Leif Oppermann, Head of Mixed and AR Solutions, Fraunhofer
Dr Björn Schwerdtfeger, CEO,
Prof. Didier Stricker, Scientific Director and Head of Augmented Vision, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH
André Schreiber, MEYER WERFT GmbH & Co. KG
Wolfgang Stelzle, CEO, RE’FLEKT GmbH

Continue reading Optinvent CEO to speak at AR in Industry Berlin

Opinvent ORA-H AR smart helmet

ORA-H is coming!

ORA-H smart augmented reality helmet sneak preview


Here’s a sneak preview of the ORA-H smart AR helmet for enterprise and professional customers that Optinvent is developing.  This is an early prototype being worn by one of our engineers.  Coming soon to an oil rig, factory, or construction site near you 🙂

ORA-H smart AR helmet early prototype


ORA-H casque de chantier a réalité augmentée

AMA Logo

Optinvent and AMA Announce their Partnership

AMA Optinvent Partnership

Bucharest, Romania and Rennes, France – May 25th, 2016

AMA, mobile games developer and part of the Populate consortium, and Optinvent, the internationally renowned wearable technology manufacturer, are happy to announce their collaboration for bringing a new gaming experience to ORA-2 smart glasses and the ORA-X smart AR headphones.

This partnership will combine AMA’s expertise in building games and apps for innovative technologies with Optinvent’s cutting edge wearable products. The focus will be on shaping the Populate prototype to the ORA-2 and ORA-X platforms, as the need for specially-designed software for wearable devices is increasing and will revolutionise both the gaming and wearable technology industries.

“It is with great pleasure that we are officially announcing our partnership with AMA to bring this new and awesome gaming experience to life.” said Khaled Sarayeddine, CTO of Optinvent. “During our collaboration with AMA we were impressed with their level of expertise and vision. We firmly believe that a close partnership with a software provider that can develop new experiences and applications for our ORA wearable computing hardware platforms is key to winning in this emerging market.”

“This year we are definitely witnessing a growth in the number of smart glasses and connected objects available on the market.” said Alex Paraschiv, the Populate Project coordinator. “It’s a great opportunity and challenge at the same time for us as developers and supporters of new technologies. We are very proud to have Optinvent as a partner for adapting the Populate prototype to their revolutionary wearable devices.”

AMA, sister company to Ubisoft and Gameloft, has been developing mobile games and applications for over 11 years and is maintaining a high interest in building applications for the innovative technologies. In 2012 AMA’s team was the first in Europe to create a game prototype for smart glasses and is now involved in developing the prototype for a game development framework called Populate.

Populate is a collaborative project that combines a multi-device approach with 3D crowd generation and advanced behaviour management. The developed prototype runs on a large range of mobile hardware like smartphones, tablets and wearable devices and it provides an asymmetric gameplay in which two users that play against each other have different gaming experiences.

The project’s consortium is formed of AMA, Golaem – a French company developing a software solution for populating backgrounds and midgrounds of films, TV series and commercials, and Trinity College of Dublin, an internationally active research group in computer graphics, computer vision and all aspects of visual computing. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no 644655.

Optinvent is a high-tech company that manufactures wearable display products and is most recently known for the ORA line of augmented reality smart devices. Optinvent has also created the world’s first smart AR headphones. The team has developed patented technologies, extensive know-how and manufacturing expertise to create a disruptive new category of wearable devices.

Optinvent’s latest product, the ORA-2, is a new smart glass platform capable of supporting a multitude of mobile applications with best in class performance, design and form factor. Running on Android, the device features a transparent retinal projection technology for a crisp, bright image display.

Combining the Populate prototype and the ORA-2 device, the partnership promises to bring a truly unique and mobile computing experience for both technology and gaming enthusiasts. More information about the Populate Project can be found at

About AMA
Founded in 2004 by Christian Guillemot, AMA is an international game and application developer and publisher for many current mobile, handheld console, computer and TV OS. In 2012, AMA was nominated as Top Developer on Play Store by Google and registered on the Glass Explorer program. At the cutting edge of technology, AMA is one of the few European studios developing for Google Glass, Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwatch, Leap Motion and other connected devices.

Bosch-brand logo

Bosch transforming Factories w/ Optinvent ORA Smart Glasses

Article on Robert Bosch in Usine Digitale about their digital transformation and how Optinvent’s ORA smart glasses is playing a part:

“Le site de Vénissieux développe un système de contrôle visuel de production utilisant des lunettes connectées de la start-up bretonne Optinvent,… “Imaginez, à partir de votre terminal de poche, vous pouvez suivre, de partout et en temps réel, les indicateurs de la production, les évènements de fabrication, la qualité et le reporting, lance Heiko Carrie. Tout cela devient aujourd’hui possible.”

“Bosch Vénissieux develops a system of production visual control using Smart Glasses from the start-up Optinvent, …“Imagine, following from your pocket terminal, from anywhere and in real time, production indicators, manufacturing events, quality and reporting, says Heiko Carrie. All this becomes possible today.”

Augmate Logo

Optinvent and Augmate Announcement

We are excited to announce that Optinvent has completed an integration with enterprise smart glass management platform from Augmate Corporation

Augmate gives enterprises complete control over the management of digital eyewear by allowing administrators to operate the devices through a Wearable Environment Manager portal. This platform is also utilized by application developers responsible for managing customer smart glass pilots before they scale at companies.

Some of Augmate’s highlighted platform features include: enhanced device security mode to prevent unintended usage of devices, as well as, access management, policy management, and geo-fencing. IT administrators can manage device application libraries, device connectivity, obtain usage metrics, text users, push software (OTA Over-The-Air Updates), and reset the user password all from the web based portal.

Pete Wassell, the CEO of Augmate said, “We are very pleased to announce the integration of the ORA-1 to our management platform, after fielding numerous requests from Optinvent’s growing customer base.  We look forward to partnering with application developers in Optinvent’s ecosystem and helping them proactively address end customer IT concerns surrounding the introduction of smart glasses in the workplace.”

Application Solution Providers looking to deploy their software to enterprises should schedule an Augmate demo. To find out how to evaluate the platform or integrate applications, please contact Randy Decko at

Affordable AR Displays: Focus on Optical See-Through Waveguide Technologies for AR Glasses

Authors:  Kayvan Mirza and Khaled Sarayeddine



Low cost see-through technologies for wearable AR displays have been an elusive key element to enable the market for consumer oriented mobile AR.  This paper will explore the various available technologies and the key challenges faced in order to develop a platform that will enable affordable wearable displays for the consumer market. The focus is on waveguide or light guide based see-through technologies for wearable AR displays as this technique is the most promising.  The assumption is that form factor, cost, ease of use, and display performance are the major challenges for consumer adoption of wearable AR displays.  A comparison of the various technologies and how they relate to these aspects will be made.



The market for augmented reality wearable displays (or AR glasses) is potentially huge. Some estimates say that in the not so distant future, AR glasses could be the user interface of choice and will gradually replace the conventional hand held smart-phone touchscreen interface. The target market therefore is the ubiquitous use of mobile video, navigation, augmented reality, and gaming.  Smart-phones are capable of more functionality than ever before and telecoms operators are seeking to increase their non-voice based revenues by offering more services (video on demand, navigation, games, etc.).  The major issue is that displays on mobile phones are not large enough (typically 3-4 inches in diagonal) in order to fully enable these new use models.  See through wearable AR displays that don’t obstruct the user’s line of sight allow a non-intrusive, hands free, large screen experience and are therefore a desirable alternative allowing full use of the available computing power of smart devices. Wearable displays are compelling because they offer the ability to display video, navigation, messaging, augmented reality applications, and games on a large virtual screen hands free.  However, any such device will need to be affordable and should have a form factor that is attractive enough so that users will easily adopt it.  Since users do not “wear” mobile phones, the form factor challenges are different than with a wearable display device.  Moreover, the device will need to have enough intelligence built into it in the form of sensors and video processing in order to make it useful for augmented reality, positioning, and gaming applications.  If a wearable display device can hit the “sweet spot” of price, performance, and form factor, then it will enable this “hand-free, always-on” revolution.  The advent of the wearable display will be nothing less than a new paradigm that will open up a world of possibilities.


Description of various see-through wearable display techniques using waveguides:

Various techniques have existed for some time for See-through video wearable displays. Most of these techniques can be summarized into two main families: “Curved Mirror” based and “Waveguide” based.  The curved mirror based techniques use semi-reflective curved mirrors placed in front of the eye with an off-axis optical projection system [1].  These techniques suffer from a high amount of distortion which needs to be corrected optically or electronically adding cost and 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 cost.  The major issue comes from the form factor which is not appealing and handicaps end user adoption.


The second family of is the so called “light-guide” or “waveguide” based techniques.  These present the most promising technologies for wearable displays since they reduce the cumbersome display optics and electronics in front of the user’s face 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) and a fully unobstructed view of the world can be achieved, therefore opening up the possibilities to true augmented reality experiences.  Various waveguide techniques have existed for some time for see-through wearable displays.  These techniques include diffraction optics, holographic optics, polarized optics, and reflective optics


Diffractive Waveguide:

The diffractive techniques use deep slanted diffraction gratings (i.e. Nokia technique now licensed to Vuzix and now used by Microsoft for its Hololens project).  This technique uses slanted gratings to in-couple collimated light entering the waveguide at a particular angle, then, the light travels 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].


The diffraction grating technique presents some key 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 will remain costly for some time.  The second issue with this technique is that it produces color non-uniformity 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  don’t have the same amplitude 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 extremely important.  The third aspect is that this technology is intrinsically limited in field of view (FOV).  Large FOV displays (large virtual screens) are not possible using this technique again due to the variation of spectral reflectivity vs. angle issue.  The higher the incidence angle, the higher the color non-uniformity.  Higher angles are needed for higher FOV’s and if the FOV is increased beyond 20°, the color non-uniformity becomes very noticeable as the human eye is extremely sensitive the color non-uniformity variations.


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 with regard to the hologram.  Holograms are intrinsically limited when used in a waveguide due to the fact that 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” 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.


We have to mention that variations of this technique have emerged recently from some start-up companies (Trulife Optics, UK and Dispelix, Finland). 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 still presents a hurdle. 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 concept is still a feasibility study.  Furthermore, the manufacturability remains to be proven.

Finally, we have to mention that only one product exist today using this technique (Sony) but it uses a  a Green Monochrome display.


Polarized Waveguide:

The polarized waveguide technique is used by Lumus.  This technique uses multilayer coatings and embedded polarized reflectors in order to extract the light towards the eye pupil [4].  This technology does not suffer from the small FOV issues and the eye motion box can be quite large.  However, it suffers from several major drawbacks that do not allow a viable solution for a low cost, consumer based solution.  The reflectivity of the polarized reflectors are quite small since it’s less than 1/n (n is the number of reflectors). For 6 reflectors used in their current light guide, the reflectivity is around 10%. 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.  Several of these reflectors need to be precisely glued together with extremely tight tolerances on parallelism, cut at an angle (again, with a very high level of parallelism), and polished in order to make the waveguide.  Each reflector needs to have a different amount of coatings ranging from 25 to 30 layers in order for the virtual image to be uniform.  This process is not geared towards high volume and low cost manufacturing.  Furthermore, glass is fragile and the perception of a thin piece of glass in front of the eye will be detrimental to large scale user adoption.  Additional drawbacks come from the fact that the system and reflectors are polarized makes the system inherently inefficient because nearly 70% of the light is lost when it is reflected.  Moreover, the “rainbow effect” of color non-uniformity exists due to the polarization states.


Reflective Waveguide:

The reflective technologies have the advantage of using reflective optical components (no exotic components or multilayer coatings).  They do not suffer from the color non-uniformity issues since they uses 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.  As with the other waveguide 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).  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). Other than the lack of innovation, and therefore low entry barrier, 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, therefore making the system much less efficient.

Finally, we should mention that a thick light guide would hinder AR applications fit 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.


The Optinvent “Clear-Vu” approach is fundamentally different than the above.  Optinvent uses a surface structure made up of several reflecting structures which makes it possible to have a thinner light guide while maintaining a large eye motion box as well as a large FOV.  This surface structure allows Optinvent to mould a monolithic light guide (out of one piece of plastic) which is coated with a semi reflective coating.  A “cover plate” is glued to this piece of plastic in order to protect the structure and to assure the optical see-through function.  This cover plate component does not need to be precise since it is not used to generate the virtual image.  It only assures the see-through function by compensating the prismatic effect when the eye pupil looks through the structure of the light guide.  The Clear-Vu technology therefore benefits from all the advantages of reflective waveguide techniques (no colour issues, moulded plastic substrate, traditional coatings, better efficiency, large eye box and FOV).  Moreover it has the additional benefits of a thinner waveguide made out of 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 and to design a system that finds the right compromise for performance and cost.  The schematic below details the Optinvent approach and a prototype using the Clear-Vu system can be seen in the figure below:



Of the various waveguide technologies discussed, the reflective type seems to be the most promising for large scale consumer deployment.  The main advantages are the lower cost, plastic substrate, and lack of colour issues.  Optical technologies are finally emerging that will enable consumer oriented wearable AR display products to become a reality in the near future.



[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]: PCT 2006 013565 A1, Lumus patent.


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Projection Technology for Future Airplane Cockpits (ODICIS) displayed at IDW

IDW 2012
A large single interactive display designed for the cockpits of future airplanes, as it was developed during the European Project ODICIS is presented.

It is based on an array of several short throw wide angle projectors resulting in a seamlessly tiled display. The project results are discussed in this contribution.

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Short Throw Projection System with Zoom (Slim Zoom)


Front projectors with shorter projection distance start to gain a lot of interest mainly for Educational Market or Interactive Display Board segments. The shorter projection distance is necessary to avoid the user to hit projected image rays and to reduce the necessary volume for the fixed installation of the projector.

We have developed very wide angle projection optics with ±80 degrees field angle to allow a projection distance of 425 mm for 85 inches projected image size. The optical system is based on the association of Projection Lens and Concave Mirror offers a 1.1x Zoom feature integrated in the Projection Lens part. In this paper we describe and discuss the opto-mechanical system and its measured performances.

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IDW 2010

Avionics represents a specialized area of display applications. A possible future development in this field is a single display cockpit environment with touch input capabilities.

Such a seamless, tiled cockpit display based on several short throw wide angle projectors is being developed in the European Project ODICIS. The current results are discussed in this contribution.

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SID 2008

Micro Display based Rear projection TV (RPTV) offers Full HD and potentially lower cost than LCD and PDP for large screen size. Today millions of RPTV’s sold in the market do not fit customer need in terms of form factor and the limited life time of the lamp. Slimmer and low chin cabinets coupled with Laser or semiconductor long life light sources enable this technology to compete against LCD or PDP panels for larger screens above 56 inch.

We’ve developed several generations of slim RPTV optical engines for either UHP or Led based projection systems. In this paper, we present the latest generation of the slim optical engines that should drastically change the look of RPTV’s with a form factor close to that of flat panel displays. We also combine this slim feature with a Laser based projection system. A technical description of the optical system used as design results will be discussed.

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SID 2008

Rear Projection TV (RPTV) offers low cost and high definition images, but suffers from inadequate form factor for the cabinet design. Slim RPTV design with small depth and low chin (distance from stand to image lower edge) are available and offer a second chance for RPTV to compete in the battle of flat screen displays.

For slim RPTV with a low-cost, refractive Fresnel screen, the angle of incidence of the light beam reaches 70° and induces large Fresnel losses. In order to correct this issue and to increase brightness uniformity and light flux, we designed a space variant retarder (SVR) to be located in the imaging arm of the Slim RPTV. This paper describes the concept and the experimental results.

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IDW 2008

Micro Display based (Rear & Front) projectors in general offer HD and are lower cost than LCD and PDP for large screen size. Current non slim RPTV sold in the market do not fit customer needs in terms of form factor and the limited life time of the lamp. Slim and low chin cabinets using Laser sources (Laser TV) enable this technology to compete against LCD or PDP panels for larger screens above 60 inch.

On the other hand, Short Throw Distance front projection is an emerging market. It allows to project a large image with a projection system located only around two feet from the screen. This technique offers new products for projector market for several applications like Home Video Education and Simulators.

Both Slim RPTV and Short Throw Distance projectors need a wide angle projection system with low cost and high performance optical components.

We’ve developed several generations of wide angle optical engines using either UHP or Laser sources. In this paper, we present the latest generation of this optical engine that should drastically change the look of RP TV’s with a form factor close to that of a flat panel. The system could also be used for Short Throw Distance to display bright images on large screen with a projector located near the screen. A technical description of the optical system used on both applications and design results will be discussed.

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