AR technology is intriguing, but no one wants to be a glasshole. Today at CES, we checked out Lumus’ attempt to make AR glasses less cringe-worthy. The company produces a line of glasses that resemble, well, glasses, and are also compatible with prescription lenses.
The new glasses are the second generation of its ‘Z-Lens 2D waveguide’ technology, which reduces the size and weight of the technology required to bring AR to life.
“In order for AR glasses to penetrate the consumer market in a meaningful way, they need to be impressive both functionally and aesthetically. “With Z-Lens, we’re aligning form and function, removing barriers to entry for the industry, and paving the way for widespread consumer adoption,” said Lumus CEO Ari Grobman in an interview with TechCrunch. “When we introduced Maximus 2D reflective waveguide technology two years ago, it was just the beginning. With all of its improvements, the Z-Lens unlocks the future of augmented reality that consumers have been waiting for.”
The lenses feature a 2Kx2K resolution vibrant colors, and a heads-up display visible even in direct sunlight. Good news for this particular glasses wearer: the company’s technology can be directly bonded to Rx prescription glasses. The technology works by utilizing reflective waveguides,’ which assist the tiny projectors held in the eyeglass frames in projecting on the inside of the semi-translucent lenses. This means that we can use the glasses as normal glasses and projection surfaces. Another advantage is that there is little light leakage, making it nearly impossible to see from the front that the wearer is receiving information beamed into their eyeholes.
The company claims to have gone on a patenting binge, claiming to have over 430 granted patents and another 540 pending. This places it among the world’s top patent holders for augmented reality optics and positions it perfectly as an acquisition target for a larger company that may be afraid of being sued, tired of paying licensing fees, or both.