Kopin Pancake Optics to ‘Reshape’ MR Headsets

The Company's Leap in Optic Form Factors Aims to Produce a Lighter, Sharper MR Headset

Kopin Golden I Headset
Mixed RealityInsights

Published: June 17, 2021

Demond Cureton

Kopin Corp announced on Thursday it had successfully developed fully-plastic Pancake optics, which are set to raise the bar for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) devices.

The Massachusetts-based firm produces high-resolution microdisplays for enterprises, defence firms, consumer goods, and medical products.

The company also filed three patents for its lastest design, system utilisations, and manufacturing processes for its Pancake optics, and expects further applications to take place, it said in a statement.

The company stated its Pancake optics surpass current optic models by providing top magnified image quality with a thinner form factor, namely for devices with a 50 to 100 degree field of view (FoV).

The unit’s Pancake, aspherical lenses reduce device thickness and improve the quality of images projected in the display while reducing costs. Double refraction of light, or birefringence, commonly found in plastic devices has also been dramatically reduced to undetectable levels.

Kopin’s P95 all-plastic optics are the company’s first and features an organic light emitting diode (OLED) microdisply with a 2560 x 2560 resolution and 95° FoV, the company said.

Weighing in at 15 grams and with a 16 millimetres thick form factor, the Pancake optics are much thinner and lighter than current headsets.

Dr John CC Fan, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Kopin Corporation, said:

“This major breakthrough represents a foundational milestone for the emerging VR markets. Bulky, heavy headsets have been a major barrier to faster consumer adoption for many years. No more. After thorough review of the available optics designs, we believe all-plastic Pancake optics are the best for VR applications that require a very large field of view, excellent image performance, and a super compact size”

The new optics would suit AR and MR applications and aim to reach super-lightweight, 100 gram, headsets in the near future. Kindly visit the firm’s website for further information.

Further developments in MR headsets in recent months have included a major partnership between VR startup Magic Leap and US chipmaker AMD, who agreed to produce an AR device with a bespoke system-on-a-chip (SoC) aimed at significantly boosting computing and graphical processing capabilities.

Apple Inc also filed several patents in recent weeks with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), including applications for a head-mountable device with improved facial biometrics and AR visuals.



AR Smart GlassesMixed Reality HeadsetsVR HeadsetsWearables

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