Vuzix has received a $75,000 phase 1 option and a $680,000 phase 2 small business innovation research (SBIR) contract as part of the US Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) head-worn display (HWD) augmented reality for military training applications programme.
The SBIR programme aims to develop low-cost and high-performance thin see-through waveguide-based optics and display engines integrated in a pair of goggles, which provide computer-generated information directly onto the individual’s field of view.
Under the contract, Vuzix will develop the optics and display engines as well as integrate the optics into a standard pair of goggles to offer high-performance imagery, in partnership with Six15 Technologies.
Vuzix president Paul Travers said: "Vuzix will be working with our partners Six-15 Technologies to integrate the display engines into existing goggles and looks forward to moving this effort to potential phase 3 procurement programme with our partners at Six-15 Technologies.
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"Our technology showed the greatest innovation and the ability to provide displays to meet the see-through and wide field of view requirements of the Navy’s programme.
"This system is based on an advanced optical waveguide version of Vuzix’s see-through optics technology that enables high-definition (HD) displays to be incorporated into very thin lenses similar to normal eyeglasses."
According to ONR, using augmented reality technologies in dismounted applications will require the HWD 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.
The significant follow-on phases of the award will pave the way in the development of field-deployable solutions with a larger field of views that can be put to work in the simulation and training needs of the US Navy.
Image: Vuzix receives SBIR phase 2 contract from the US ONR. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto / Vuzix Corporation.