FlexEnable launches flexible active optics evaluation kits for AR and VR

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FlexEnable, a developer and producer of flexible organic electronics for active optics and displays, has launched optical evaluation kits for AR and VR devices.

The kits include ambient dimming and tunable lens film modules made using FlexEnable’s flexible liquid crystal (LC) technology. These uniquely thin and light active optics bring what the company claims as ‘game-changing’ optical performance to AR/VR and allow significantly smaller, lighter and curved devices which are key factors in achieving the visual and physical comfort necessary for all-day wearability and sustained adoption.

The evaluation kits will initially be available to selected strategic partners looking to evaluate FlexEnable’s technology for integration into new products.

Commenting Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said, “Advancements in AR/VR technologies must simultaneously increase visual comfort and immersion, whilst allowing the devices to become lighter and smaller. Our uniquely thin and lightweight optical modules can modulate and focus light, ensuring virtual objects in AR appear solid and with high contrast and allowing users to comfortably focus on virtual objects at different distances.

“For strategic OEM/brand partners we offer customisable solutions that can be integrated into new products, along with a rapid route to production scale-up through our existing manufacturing partners.”

The ambient dimmer module features a 50mm diameter aperture that switches in ~10 milliseconds, with a thickness of just 200 microns and a cell mass of less than one gram. It provides global dimming of unpolarised light for AR devices, and when integrated with FlexEnable’s OTFT technology enables pixel-level dimming (spatial dimming). This allows virtual objects to be clearly visible and appear solid even as external lighting conditions change.

The tunable lens module has a 30mm diameter with a continuously tunable lens power of 0 to 1 dioptres, a cell thickness of 100-200 microns, and a mass of a fraction of a gram. It can actively adjust focus of visible light, bringing perceived and actual image depth together consistently, by compensating for focal differences between the virtual and the real.

FlexEnable’s liquid crystal lenses can be stacked to increase focal power or combined with other flexible LC optical functions to provide additional features such as a dimmable lens.

The active optical films can also be biaxially curved to follow the 3D contours of existing surfaces such as headset visors and fixed lenses, further reducing device volume and weight.