Wearable Technology Report

AR & VR Smartglasses and Functional Contact Lenses 2016-2026

From augmented and virtual reality headsets to the advent of embedded electronic functionalities in lenses

This market will be worth over $26 billion by 2026
This new IDTechEx report is focused on how the market for smart glasses and contact lenses is going to evolve in the next decade, based on the exciting research and developments efforts of recent years along with the high visibility some projects and collaborations have enjoyed. The amount of visibility this space is experiencing is exciting developers of a range of allied technologies into fast-tracking/focusing their efforts, as well as creating devices and components designed specifically to serve this emerging industry.
Some of the newest devices that have ignited significant interest in smart eyewear are going above and beyond the conventional definition of a smart object; they are in effect, portable, wearable computers with a host of functionalities, specially designed apps etc. that add new ways for the wearer to interact with the world along with smartphone capabilities, health tracking options and many other features. The features of some of the more advanced devices have been based on and have sparked worldwide innovation efforts aiming to create an ecosystem of components that will enable what is bound to be a revolution in form factor for wearables.
User interface is probably one of the most significant features in this revolution. As interfacing with computers undergoes a constant evolution, allowing for wider adoption as interaction becomes more "natural", smartglasses are bringing about the next big step in this ever-changing space. From keyboards to touchscreens to cameras & positioning/location/infrared sensors, a new wave of innovation is making interfacing with computers gesture-based, and nowhere else is that more obvious than in eye-worn computing.
But it is not just wearable sensors and user interfaces, but also near-eye displays and optics as well as energy storage devices that represent some of the examples of technology tool kits that are evolving and improving in performance. They are hence constituting the pieces that are falling into place in order to enable new functionalities and form factors, both necessary to create products as innovative as near-eye and on-eye computers.
There are of course significant challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve consumer acceptance and widespread proliferation of this paradigm-shifting type of device. Miniaturization of components, development of powering schemes that will allow sufficient usage time between recharge points, flexibility and stretchability of components that are meant to operate in diverse environments (from saline solutions to high and low temperatures) are only some of the segments where innovative research and development work is taking place.
The report includes insight into how different entities are addressing these challenges: developments, company and research activities in the space for smart glasses and lenses as well as company profiles of players actively involved in this space, concluding with market forecasts for both smart glasses and smart contact lenses for the next decade.
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Table of Contents
2.1.Contact lens materials
2.2.Contact lenses and disposability
2.3.The market for contact lenses
3.1.The Google-Novartis collaboration
3.2.Target Applications - startups & research activities
4.1.The blood glucose measurement challenge
4.2.On board powering schemes - Remote power
4.2.1.Primary or rechargeable cells?
4.2.2.Energy harvesting
4.4.Transparent encapsulation of electronic components and manufacturing considerations
4.5.Cost structures
4.6.FDA approval
5.1.Google Glass
5.1.1.Google Glass Explorer features
5.1.2.Google Glass Enterprise
5.1.3.Luxottica partnership
5.2.Vuzix M100
5.3.Epson Moverio BT-200 & BT-2000
5.4.Recon Jet - Snow2
5.5.Kopin Solos
5.6.Optinvent ORA 1 - ORA X
5.7.Meta 1 - Meta Pro
5.8.ODG R-7
5.9.Microsoft Hololens
5.10.Sony SmartEyeGlass
5.11.Magic Leap
5.14.What are "enterprise" applications all about?
6.1.Oculus Rift
6.2.Sony PlayStation VR
6.4.Zeiss - Avegant
6.5.Merge VR - HTC VR
7.1.LCoS microdisplay
7.1.1.LCoS microdisplay structure
7.1.2.Optical principles of LCoS microdisplays
7.1.3.Generating color in a single panel configuration - Time Domain Imaging (TDI™) - ForthDD
7.1.4.Generating color in a single panel configuration - Color filters
7.1.5.Generating color in a single panel configuration - Field sequential color (FSC)
7.1.6.Generating color in three panel configuration
7.2.Transmissive LCD microdisplay
7.3.OLED on silicon microdisplays
7.4.LED microdisplays
8.1.OLED microdisplays
8.1.4.Dresden Microdisplay (DMD)
8.1.5.Yunnan OLiGHTECK
8.2.LCoS microdisplays
8.2.1.Himax Display
8.3.Transmissive LCD Microdisplays
8.3.1.Epson Corporation
8.4.microLED microdisplays
8.5.Some examples of microdisplay products
8.6.Comparison of microdisplay technologies
9.2.Freespace Optics see-through architectures
9.2.1.Flat combiner architectures
9.2.2.Curved combiner architectures
9.2.3.Freeform, total internal reflection (TIR) combiners
9.3.Waveguide/lightguide see-through architectures
9.3.1.Diffractive waveguide
9.3.2.Holographic waveguide
9.3.3.Polarized waveguide
9.3.4.Reflective waveguide
9.3.5."Clear-Vu" reflective waveguide
9.3.6.Switchable waveguide
9.4.Other approaches to see-through displays
9.5.Occlusion architectures
9.5.1.Immersion display magnifier architectures
9.5.2.Micro-mirror arrays
9.6.Comparison of optics approaches for head mounted displays
9.7.Suppliers of optical engines
9.7.1.Digilens - SBG Labs
9.7.3.Himax Displays
10.1.Field of view (FOV) and resolution
10.4.Distortions & aberrations
10.5.Summary of optics and display requirements for AR and VR
10.6.User interface. Voice & Gesture recognition
11.1.Batteries for Smart Glasses and Lenses
11.1.1.Energy storage technologies in consumer electronics
11.2.Battery market size
11.3.The emergence of wearables
11.4.LG Chem's offerings to the wearable market
11.5.Apple's approach to wearable technology
11.6.Samsung SDI — never falling behind
11.7.Nokia's contribution
11.8.Limited production—STMicroelectronics
11.9.Showa Denko Packaging / Semiconductor Energy Laboratory
11.10.Kokam and RouteJade, Korea
11.11.Initial conclusions on energy storage for smart eyewear.
12.1.Atheer Labs
12.3.FlexEl, LLC
12.4.Imprint Energy, Inc
12.6.Kopin Corporation
12.11.Royole Corporation
12.12.Seiko Epson Corporation
13.1.Smart contact lenses
1.1.Smart contact lenses for glaucoma 2016-2026
1.2.Smart contact lenses for diabetes 2016-2026
1.3.AR and VR 2016-2026 - units (million)
1.4.AR and VR 2016-2026 - $ /unit
1.5.AR and VR 2016-2026 - revenue ($ million)
5.1.A comparison table looking into features of smart eyewear devices
5.2.Quick comparison of 6 smartglasses
8.1.Commercially available microdisplays (Non - exhaustive list)
8.2.Technology comparison between LCoS, µ-LED and µ-OLED devices
9.2.Comparative table of see-through optics design approaches.
10.1.Metrics for AR and VR headsets
11.1.Global market for all small batteries for use in small devices $ billion
11.2.Shapes of battery: advantages and disadvantages
11.3.Summary of the EnFilm™ rechargeable thin film lithium battery
13.1.Smart contact lenses for glaucoma 2016-2026
13.2.Smart contact lenses for diabetes 2016-2026
13.3.AR and VR 2016-2026 - units (million)
13.4.AR and VR 2016-2026 - $ /unit
13.5.AR and VR 2016-2026 - revenue ($ million)
1.1.Wearable sensor, units sold. Forecast 2015-2025
1.2.Two waves of sensors integrated in wearables.
1.3.Smart eyewear technology: Near eye
1.4.Smart eyewear technology: On eye
1.5.The four major challenges affecting proliferation of eye-worn computers
1.6.Smart contact lenses revenue (US$ million) 2016-2026
1.7.AR and VR 2016-2026 - units (million)
1.8.AR and VR 2016-2026 - $ /unit
1.9.AR and VR 2016-2026 - revenue ($ million)
2.1.Lens replacement frequency in the USA, the biggest market for all contact lenses, in 2014
3.1.Prototype lens developed by google and Novartis, incorporating a sensor and a chip and antenna used to receive power and transmit data
3.2.The prototype lens developed at KIST, featuring sensors, microfluidic channels and on-board power supply
3.3.The Vibe device from DexCom and Animas, (a division of Johnson & Johnson) for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). Dexcom CGM sensor technology is approved for up to seven days of continuous wear with one of the smallest introduce
3.4.Medella Health's first prototypes of what is to become a continuous glucose monitoring system is featured on the company's website
3.5.The soft contact lens-like sensor, with its MEMS antenna (golden rings), its MEMS sensor (ring close to the outer edge), and microprocessor
3.6.Sensor placed on the eye, centered on the cornea with no elements in the line of sight
3.7.An illustration that shows the various components of the Triggerfish® solution by Sensimed placed on the body. [1] Contact lens with sensor [2] adhesive antenna [3] cable [4] portable recorder
3.8.Microfluidic intraocular pressure (IOP) sensor
3.9.Similar simple smart lenses demonstrated at Auburn University in 2011
3.10.A snapshot from Google's patent application for a micro camera component to compliment smart contact lenses
3.11.Schematic from the Google patent application on a multi-sensor contact lens
4.1.Lens concept: University of Washington
5.1.Google Glass
5.2.Infographic of how the Google Glass display works
5.3.The Vuzix M100 primary components
5.4.Mounting options for the M100
5.5.The Epson Moverio BT- 200 smartglasses.
5.6.The Epson Moverio Pro BT-200
5.7.Recon Jet main components
5.8.Recon Jet display
5.9.The ORA 1 main features
5.10.The two configurations for ORA-1's display, in "AR" and "glance" modes.
5.11.The ORA - X announced by Optinvent, a hybrid between smartglasses and smart headphones
5.12.Meta 1 and Meta Pro
5.13.ODG R-7 features
5.14.The Microsoft Hololens
5.15.Promotional images for the Hololens, indicating the potential of the device
5.16.With Skype video chatting, HoloLens users can let others see through their eyes to help with tasks and even doodle right on top of your line of vision
5.17.The SONY SmartEyeGlass
5.18.Schematic of the main components necessary for the GiveVision software
5.19.Quick comparison of 6 smartglasses
6.1.The Google Cardboard
6.2.The Oculus Rift latest iteration, as expected to look when it hits the market in 2016
6.3.Project Morpheus prototype
6.4.The Samsung Gear VR- Innovator edition, powered by Oculus, which was available for sale for developers and early adopters for $200 throughout most of 2015.
6.5.The Samsung Gear VR, available for sale at $100. Details of the padding (for comfort when worn) and the user interface (touchpad)
6.6.The Zeiss VCR One available for $120
6.7.The Avegant Glyph headset available for pre-order at $499
6.8.The MergeVR headset
6.9.The HTC Vive.
7.1.Basic structure of an LCoS microdisplay
7.2.Optical principle of an LCoS microdisplay
7.3.Generating colour with a FLCoS microdisplay
7.4.The 8-bit red subfield and the complete 24-bit full color TDI rendered frame
7.5.Color filter LCoS and diagram of image generation in a front-lit LCoS (FL LCoS) microdisplay: in this case, the light source, light guide are integrated into the LCoS microdisplay
7.6.Schematic representation of a 3-panel LCoS configuration
7.7.Structure of an OLED on silicon microdisplay
7.8.Schematic of light emission and the generation of a collimated beam in a sapphire LED wafer.
8.1.Prototype incorporating eMagin's 4MPixel square OLED on silicon microdisplays displays, demonstrated in June 2015 at AWE15
8.2.SONY 0.61in OLED microdisplay 0 with a 1280×1024 resolution
8.3.OLED microdisplay from MICROOLED
8.4.Color filter, front-lit microdisplay from Himax Display
8.5.A HOLOEYE 0.55in diagonal WXGA (1280 x 768Pixel) CFS LCOS Microdisplay
8.6.Cumulative shipments of Epson's HTPS panels 1992-2014
8.7.Kopin demonstrated a prototype of its Solos smartglasses at CES 2016, with a built-in 4-mm module Pupil, hidden behind the rim and practically invisible from the outside.
8.8.mLED LED microdisplay
8.9.Lumiode microdisplays
8.10.Each pixel of the quantum-photonic-imager device consists of a vertical stack of multiple LED layers
8.11.MicroLED array with a 10μm pitch
8.12.Microdisplay technologies: spider diagram of comparison of key metrics
8.13.Microdisplay technologies: table of comparison of key metrics
9.1.a. Non-pupil forming (or magnifier lens) optical design. b. Pupil forming (or relay lens) optical design
9.2.Cube and half-silvered mirror designs for beam splitters, incident light arrives at a 45⁰ angle and part of it is transmitted while part of it is reflected
9.3.Schematic of Laster's EnhancedView™ technology
9.4.Schematic of a freeform TIR combiner structure. The corrector allows for the system's see-through functionality.
9.5.Schematic representation of the diffractive wavequide technique invented by Nokia and licensed to Vuzix (left) and an early Nokia prototype based on this principle (right).
9.6.SONY's holographic waveguide architecture
9.7.Konica Minolta's holographic waveguide architecture
9.8.Optinvent's patented monolithic waveguide and a Clear-Vu prototype
9.9.Innovega contact lenses and basic schematic of the operating principle of the system
9.10.WF05 prism optic from eMagin.
9.11.The Lumus OE-40 display module
10.1.FOVs for some devices, occlusion (VR) or see-through (AR)
10.2.Angular resolutions vs. FOV. b. Reaching the human eye's resolution limit: pixel requirements for different FOVs and current status.
10.3.The Soli chip
10.4.The FOVE VR headset uses infrared sensors to track eye as well as head movement
11.1.Schematic of smart and portable electronic devices within the energy storage classification
11.2.Energy Storage for Smart and Portable Electronic Devices within the Energy Storage Space
11.3.Global market for all small batteries for use in small devices $ billion
11.4.Changes towards wearable devices
11.5.Flexible cable-type lithium ion battery
11.6.LG Chem's stepped battery
11.7.Curved battery developed by LG Chem
11.8.Terraced batteries used for new MacBook
11.9.Apple's patent of flexible battery pack
11.10.Curved batteries developed by Samsung SDI
11.11.Samsung SDI showed their new flexible, rollable battery at InterBattery 2014
11.12.Nokia's rollable battery
11.13.EnFilm: Rechargeable thin film lithium battery
11.14.Structure of ultra-thin lithium-ion battery developed by Showa Denko Packaging
11.15.Different shapes of the ultra-thin lithium-ion battery.
11.16.Flexible battery developed by Semiconductor Energy Laboratory
11.17.Battery samples from Kokam and RouteJade
11.18.The Google Glass battery.
11.19.Effect of cell thickness on energy density
11.20.Printed zinc polymer rechargeable chemistry battery from Imprint Energy
13.1.Smart contact lenses revenue number (thousand) 2016-2026
13.2.Smart contact lenses unit price (US$) 2016-2026
13.3.Smart contact lenses revenue (US$ million) 2016-2026
13.4.AR and VR 2016-2026 - units (million)
13.5.AR and VR 2016-2026 - $ /unit
13.6.AR and VR 2016-2026 - revenue ($ million)

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Report Statistics

-Forecasts to2026
-Last updateDec 2016


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