AR Show Interview of Karl Guttag (Part 2) – Mapping AR Displays to Suitable Optics

Just a Quick Note on Part 2 of the Interview

The AR Show with host Jason McDowall has published part 2 of a 3 part interview with me on AR. The podcast can be listed to on The AR Show Website or wherever you listen to podcasts. You should note that this show was recorded on January 28th, 2021 so any news in the last two months would not be covered. Quoting from the show’s description:

In this second part of my conversation with Karl, we talk about matching display technologies to the right combiner optics technologies. Karl talks about which of those technologies he thinks have the best chance of being successful. He also discusses the importance of matching what the devices can do well to the user and the use case, and we get into some of those use cases across consumer, enterprise, and military.

On this last one, Karl goes deeper into the hard tradeoffs in delivering something of essential value to the military and other first responders in the field.

More on the AR show interview part 1 and the overall interview can be found in my last article.

In part 3, due to be published next week, will discuss what I think Apple is or is not doing.

I’m on the run this week attending (virtually) the AR/VR/MR conference. The last conference I attended in 2020 before Covid shut everything down and it has become my favorite conference on AR and VR. Frankly, the conference is missing quite a bit without the personal interaction and the ability to see demos with my own eyes. However, still, there is a lot of useful information.

Karl Guttag
Karl Guttag
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  1. Podcast interview is fantastic; took me a while to find the time for it, but I’m up working late and listening along, and it’s great stuff. It’s long but I am interested in all of it. Also – so so refreshing to hear “show that to a consumer and they’ll tell you it’s bullsh–, they don’t care how hard the science was” 😉 Thanks!

      • Karl, Although I don’t understand much of this technology, I enjoy reading your articles very much. Curious if you have any thoughts on the technological upgrades the military version of HoloLens (IVAS) will use. I’ve heard the FOV is much greater, up to 80 degrees! If true, that would be an incredible increase which could help increase widespread adoption of the headset in business and consumer applications. I’ve also recently read that Himax will be supplying their LCOS tech to a “new” customer that is building a “ruggedized” version of HoloLens for a “business application” Considering Himax LCOS tech was used in the original HoloLens, this news seems to coincide with the Army’s news release of IVAS going into production. Could be Himax is prohibited from revealing the true nature of this “business” application? AR/VR fascinates me and I follow many companies within the field. I would appreciate any insight you may have regarding the IVAS version of HoloLens and how the tech would be incorporated into non-military application. Thanks in advance

      • I hear mixed things about the IVAS. Some pictures of the later IVAS headsets show a different diffractive waveguide with the ejection light coming from the lower sides, but I have not had a chance to see it for myself. I can’t see how landed military troops in action could every use IVAS in anywhere near its current form. It is too fragile, blocks too much of the soldier’s FOV, interferes with the sighting of weapons, and would be terrible to wear (fog and heat) in many climate conditions.

        I have heard that Hololens is at least considering going back to using LCOS for generation 3, but I have not heard of them using Himax. The LCOS maker with the most “buzz” right now is Compound Photonics. I just got to see a Lumus Maximus (working on an article) with the Compound Photonics (CP)devices and it does seem quite good. CP has a much higher field sequential color (for less color breakup) with much better contrast and smaller pixels (for more resolution) than anything I have seen out of Himax. There are MANY companies developing AR products today with various technologies so it could be true that Himax has a design win and that it might not be Hololens.

        There are many more image quality aspects with AR than just FOV. As I have written, the overall image quality of the Hololens 2 is quite poor. I would expect that with a wider FOV the rest of the image quality will get worse.

  2. Karl, thank you for your quick response and insightful comments. Considering the poor performance of LBS, I too wouldn’t be surprised if HoloLens goes back to LCOS or another technology. As far as Himax goes, I was just reading between the lines a bit. They said the contract was with the world’s leading customer in this area, to be used in a harsh environment, and it would be a fairly sizable volume. Either way, I’m excited to see newer technology create better products. As you know, AR smart glasses have been talked about for so long with limited success to end users. Many challenges and possibilities…

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