If the buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show is any indication of things to come (and it usually is), 2016 is expected to be the year of virtual reality (VR). Much anticipated VR headset launches, announcement of investment in enabling technologies, and developments of optimized components made virtual reality the words on everyone's lips at CES2016 in Las Vegas.
The new IDTechEx Research report on the topic of smartglasses, AR & VR Smartglasses and Functional Contact Lenses 2016-2026, discusses the growth expected in the space for VR headsets, which the report finds are expected to already be shipping in volumes of over 10,000,000 units by 2019.
Microdisplays, initially developed for large screen projectors found a perfectly matching application in head mounted displays. When Google Glass launched in 2013, it integrated a reflective, near-eye Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) display based on an LCoS chip from Himax Display.
There are several suppliers of liquid crystal microdisplays that are currently available and have been integrated in different headsets. Kopin's transmissive LCD on single crystal silicon transistors has been utilized in smartglasses from Vuzix and Recon, as well as in the company's own brand headset, the Solos. Devices based on ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCoS for short), having made a wide impact on applications as diverse as optical correlation and holographic projection, are also of interest here, as they are inherently faster switching than other liquid crystals.
For more detailed information on suppliers, microdisplay technology comparisons and benchmarking, profiles of the most significant players and market forecasts in the space for AR and VR smartglasses read the new IDTechEx report AR & VR Smartglasses and Functional Contact Lenses 2016-2026.