Wednesday, 17 Jul 2019

OLED microdisplays and sensors as the foundation for intelligent data glasses

Safety helmets with built-in microdisplays and multifunction data glasses will soon monitor production lines, advise workers of dangers, and display storage locations

12 Sep 2018 | Editor

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP is developing OLED microdisplays and sensors as the foundation for intelligent data glasses in the sectors of medicine, vehicle production, entertainment, and for Industry 4.0.

The scientists at Fraunhofer FEP in Dresden specialise in the development of custom microdisplays for AR and VR data glasses. The microdisplays take advantage of OLED-on-silicon technology.

In contrast to other display types, no supplementary illumination is required for OLED microdisplays, as they are themselves luminescent. This facilitates the design of simplified optics, a more compact design, and considerably higher contrast ratios.

In addition, a camera can be integrated directly onto the microdisplay, facilitating control by tracking the eye‘s position and motion.

Fraunhofer FEP has been developing OLED microdisplays and sensors for a wide range of applications for over 10 years. One of the recent highlights is a new design for innovative ultra-low-power OLED microdisplays.

This was developed in a strategic internal FEP project and later adapted to the French industrial partner MicroOLED.

The mission of the researchers was to transfer the highly innovative ultra-low-power OLED microdisplay technology to the commercial sector so that it can be integrated into end-user applications and produced en masse.

Currently Fraunhofer FEP is working together with partners in the joint project "Glass@Service", which include Siemens, UVEX, and Ubimax among others for possibly use in Industry 4.0 applications. Logistics represents one of the major fields of application.

The benefits of wearing data glasses would enable a warehouse clerk to have both hands free for activities, while also being guided through individual process steps via the display in the glasses.

Allowing the warehouse clerk to be dedicated entirely to the primary task at hand, while all the data – what has been picked, packed, and where it goes next – is supplied via the data glasses.

The scientists at the Fraunhofer FEP offer evaluation kits as development tools for suitable applications of OLED-on-silicon technology in data glasses. Customer-specific OLED microdisplays can also be developed that are specially adapted to a display's purpose.

The researchers see unsolved challenges ahead that they want to tackle:

  • higher brightness
  • good yield for large (chip) areas
  • curved surfaces for more compact optics
  • irregular pixel matrices with even higher pixel densities
  • integrated eye tracking
  • transparent substrates

Especially important for microdisplays in consumer-ready Augmented Reality (AR) glasses.

"The compact displays are particularly suitable for use in industrial applications. For example, they can be mounted in glasses and thus provide production personnel or machinery operators with all the information needed, like picking station or part numbers."

Dr. Uwe Vogel, Head of the Microdisplays and Sensors division at the Fraunhofer FEP

www.microoled.net    www.fep.fraunhofer.de   

About Fraunhofer FEP

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP works on innovative solutions in the fields of vacuum coating, surface treatment as well as organic semiconductors. The core competences electron beam technology, sputtering and plasma-activated deposition, high-rate PECVD as well as technologies for the organic electronics and IC/system design provide a basis for these activities.

The Fraunhofer FEP offers a wide range of possibilities for research, development and pilot production, especially for the processing, sterilization, structuring and refining of surfaces as well as OLED microdisplays, organic and inorganic sensors, optical filters and flexible OLED lighting. Our aim is to seize the innovation potential of the electron beam, plasma technology and organic electronics for new production processes and devices and to make it available for our customers.

Source: Fraunhofer FEP

About MicroOLED

Beginning as a scientific startup in 2007, MICROOLED is today delivering high performance Near-Eye Displays (NED) for a wide range of products, such as video glasses, head-mounted sports devices, camera viewfinders, medical applications and many other professional devices worldwide.

Thanks to our unique technology, we are able to offer AMOLED microdisplays with extremely sharp images even in low light conditions. As one of the Pioneers within AMOLED products, we have pushed energy efficiency to the edge. A MICROOLED display uses several hundred times less energy compared to a monitor with equivalent image size and resolution.

Since the early days of the company, we are part of the micro- and nanotechnology hub of Grenoble, France, where we benefit from this top level technological environment for our development and manufacturing activities.

Providing our customers with the best high definition AMOLED microdisplays featuring very low power consumption, excellent image quality, customized for different near-eye applications.

With the world’s highest pixel density microdisplays and an ever increasing number of application fields, MICROOLED will be your sustainable partner today and in the future.

The MICROOLED headquarters, R&D and manufacturing units are located in Minatec, Grenoble, the renowned French center of excellence for semiconductor and nanotechnology.

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