Plessey and WaveOptics Partner Up for MicroLED Display Technology for Smart Glasses

Plessey and WaveOptics Partnership
Image: Plessey

Plessey, an embedded technologies developer of microLED technology for the augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) display, and WaveOptics, a leading manufacturer of diffractive waveguides, have formed a partnership to create a new optical module, designed specifically for the next generation of smart glasses.

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The module will incorporate Plessey’s high brightness microLED, native green full HD display along with WaveOptics’ Katana waveguide technology and projector design. Critically, this module will be the smallest and lowest mass AR display module available on the market, says a press release.

“This partnership will create a new product opportunity for companies building AR wearables,” commented David Hayes, CEO WaveOptics. “For the first time, customers will be able to buy the lightest, ultra-low power module which combines the unique combination of WaveOptics and Plessey technologies. This is a crucial development to enable this technology to reach the consumer market in 2020.”

The next generation of AR and MR systems depends on a technological leap in the performance of the optical module. Advances in image quality, brightness, resolution, and efficient power consumption are sought after in order to make these new AR and MR systems a compelling practical and visual experience. The collaboration between Plessey and WaveOptics delivers the necessary innovation by bringing together Plessey’s award winning GaN/Si microLED display technology and WaveOptics’ new generation waveguide technology and projector design.

Image: WaveOptics

The substantial reduction in size and power requirements in this module enables enhanced features such as wireless transceivers for true, untethered AR applications, which are key for technology and mobile companies looking to launch smart glasses as a mobile accessory.

“Our partnership with WaveOptics is a significant endorsement of Plessey’s GaN-on-Silicon microLED approach. Our microLED displays are recognized as being at the forefront in delivering the high-performance display panels demanded by AR and MR devices,” said Mike Lee, the president of corporate and business development at Plessey.

AR headsets that allow the user to seamlessly transition between the bright outdoors to darker indoor environments require a display technology that can deliver both, very high brightness and low power consumption for long battery life. Plessey’s displays with WaveOptics technology can rise to the challenge of this demanding requirement.

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WaveOptics unveiled its latest waveguide, Katana, at Photonics West 2020.  Katana is the industry’s thinnest and lightest waveguide, which expands the possibilities of AR wearable design for consumer technology companies, bringing AR wearables to the mass market.

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Cathy Russey () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies and specialized in writing about the latest medical wearables and enabling technologies on the market. Cathy can be contacted at info(at)