Vuzix Corporation announced this week a strategic technology development partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS). Vuzix and Fraunhofer IPMS have been engaged in the development of MEMS devices optimized for augmented and virtual wearable display solutions. Vuzix said that this partnership will produce a key component that integrates both the display and optics into a monolithic display engine, with a goal of finally enabling sunglass styled video glasses.
The relationship with Fraunhofer IPMS supports Vuzix' expertise in the design of Video eyewear and head mounted displays (HMDs) for the global mobile smart phone, console gaming, and defense markets. According to Vuzix, Fraunhofer's MEMS devices are a key component for creating a single electro-optic device for Vuzix' next generation high definition (HD) video eyewear displays. Fraunhofer is part of a team of technology partners working with Vuzix to create a monolithic display engine, integrating the display and optics into as a single device. This effort will reportedly better meet user's high expectations for sunglass styled video eyewear over existing technologies; for both Vuzix' and its OEM product lines. Fraunhofer IPMS is an internationally recognized research and development institute for MEMS.
Paul Travers, Vuzix President and CEO said, "We are very pleased to formally announce that Vuzix and Fraunhofer have initiated this development partnership. We have already seen results that we feel will provide a paradigm shift in the style, performance and cost of wearable displays."
"The relationship with Vuzix is a perfect fit for Fraunhofer IPMS. Our MEMS technology integrated with Vuzix new electro-optic device has the potential to be ground breaking for near eye display solutions. We are excited about the opportunity to provide IPMS' technology for this innovative display application," said Harald Schenk, deputy director of Fraunhofer IPMS.
Vuzix is a supplier of video eyewear products in the defense, consumer, media and entertainment markets. The company's products, personal display devices that offer users a portable high quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, thermal sighting systems, tactical wearable displays and virtual and augmented reality. With its origins in defense research and development for next generation display solutions, Vuzix claims that it holds 51 patents in the video eyewear field. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK and Tokyo, Japan.
Fraunhofer IPMS in Dresden, as an institute of Europe's largest organisation for applied research and development, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, carries out customer specific developments in fields of microelectronic and micro systems technology serving as a business partner that supports the transition of innovative ideas into new products. Fraunhofer IPMS develops and fabricates modern MEMS and OLED devices in its own cleanroom facilities. In addition to R&D services, it offers ramp-up within a pilot production line. With about 200 scientists and engineers, the range of projects and expertise covers sensor and actuator systems, microscanner, spatial light modulators, wireless microsystems, as well as organic materials and systems.