Application overview

Photonics-based devices are becoming increasingly important. 3D sensors are used in the automotive industry (LIDAR) to protect both the drivers,  surrounding persons and objects from collisions and paving the way towards autonomous vehicles. Similar technologies are used in consumer electronics and security applications for face recognition and controls. New disruptive business opportunities are seen in Augmented Reality (AR/XR) glasses where new optically clear high refractive index materials are necessary to create the pathways for images (so-called waveguides) from the image source to the eye of the user. Finally, micro-LED displays are an emerging display technology, expected to solve shortcomings of current LCD technologies such as a limited contrast viewing angle.

XR DEVICES

Augmented and Mixed reality glasses are expected to be the next big success in consumer electronics. The possibility to add computer-created images to the real world view of the user opens novel application scenarios in gaming, healthcare, military, and construction.  Technologies needed for an acceptable user experience are now developed worldwide. The full ecosystem requires software, data communication, advanced optics, and image sources to seamlessly work together. Inkron strongly supports this industry by providing leading edge high and low refractive materials for AR/MR glass waveguides.

OPTICAL SENSORS

An optical sensor converts light into an electronic signal when an object is detected. There is a multitude of basic designs: through beam, retro-reflective and diffuse reflective. Typically, VIS/NIR LED or laser light sources are used. The applications are countless. Sensors can measure speed, position, vibration, strain etc. Recently, 3D sensors have been quickly gaining momentum. These sensors measure the time it takes for light to return to its source. From this information the distance and shape of the object can be determined. Current applications on this growing 3D sensor market include Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and face recognition devices.
Inkron’s portfolio of products offers several opportunities for the designer of this product class.

EMERGING DISPLAYS

With standard flat backlit LCD displays already considered a traditional technology new approaches are conquering the market. Emissive OLED displays and Quantum Dot Enhanced displays are relatively new approaches already finding their way to the market. Advantages compared to LCDs are the bigger viewing angle, the more pronounced colors and improved contrast. One of the most promising new display concepts is based on micro-LEDs. This is expected to combine high contrast with a long lifetime and a large viewing angle. Especially the AR/MR field is anticipating the expected benefits from micro-LED displays over the currently used image source approaches. Also volumetric or 3D displays form a new connected display technology with the potential to revolutionize at least part of the existing display applications. Inkron’s highly transparent index matching coatings and encapsulation materials very well match these use  cases.

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