Vuzix has received a small business innovation research (SBIR) award to develop a device as part of the US Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) head worn display (HWD) augmented reality for its military training applications programme.
The SBIR programme is aimed to develop a lightweight, low-cost, high-performance device that helps provide computer-generated information directly onto the individual’s field of view.
The significant follow-on phases of the award will pave way in the development of new lightweight, easy-to-wear, curved visors that will enable the user to see virtual computer-generated objects, including virtual characters, objects, and effects in the real world into the field of view.
Vuzix president Paul Travers said that the company’s engineering team demonstrated an in-depth command of the technical and development challenges needed to meet the see through and wide field of view needs of the navy’s requirements.
"This system is to be based on an advanced optical waveguide version of Vuzix’s see-through Blade-based technology that enables high-definition (HD) displays to be incorporated into very thin lenses similar to normal eyeglasses," Travers added.
According to ONR, using augmented reality technologies in dismounted applications will require the head worn display to assume the form of sunglasses or ballistic goggles, as well as allow the soldier to operate the device without needing to be recharged for hours.
The navy also highlighted the necessity for development of a consumer grade HWD for military training applications and the rapidly increasing development of augmented reality applications for smart phones in the commercial sector.