See-through Transparent Displays

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-C-6298
Agency Tracking Number: F103-027-2522
Amount: $749,967.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-027
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
SBG Labs Inc.
1288 Hammerwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA, -
DUNS: 194860156
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Waldern
 (650) 793-2695
Business Contact
 Jonathan Waldern
Title: CTO
Phone: (650) 793-2695
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The ideal see-through display would be one that preserves situational awareness by offering a panoramic view of the surroundings with overlaid high-resolution color imagery. Such a system should also be unobtrusive; that is, compact, light-weight, and comfortable, where comfort comes from having a generous exit pupil, liberal eye relief, ergonomic center of mass, and focus at infinity. Conventional refractive optics cannot satisfy this suite of demanding requirements. Even after years of highly competitive development, head-mounted displays (HMDs) exhibit limited field of view and are anything but compact, light-weight, and comfortable. SGB Labs has developed a game-changing solution to this challenging problem by successfully demonstrating an ultra-wide field-of-view see-through display with a pixel resolution that supports Snellen 20/20 visual acuity over the entire field of view. In Phase I, a practicable design for a full-color see-through display was developed. Phase I also developed a novel planar manufacturing concept for creating such optical systems with vastly improved size, weight, and cost. In Phase II, the design and the new manufacturing process will be reduced to practice. A prototype of a sensor-agnostic color HMD with leap-ahead performance in terms of field of view and angular resolution will be developed and delivered for evaluation. BENEFIT: A see-through display focused at infinity must satisfy a suite of very challenging requirements; including wide field of view, high resolution, full color, good luminance, adequate dynamic grayscale, and minimal power consumption. To date, no waveguide technology has been able to satisfy these critical requirements, the most important being wide field of view. SBG Labs"technology enables the first waveguide-based display with the ability to meet all requirements. The benefit to the warfighter will be vastly improved situational awareness and comfort. The technology is especially suitable for applications involving augmented reality and virtual reality. A wide-field-of-view see-through display is a dual-use product. SBG Labs hopes to leverage the proposed development into OEM components for consumer HMDs. The channel to market will be the same as SBG Labs"other products: major consumer electronics companies. In the short term, since military devices will support a higher price point than commercial ones and entail lower production volumes, having the DoD as its first customer will enable SBG Labs to gradually ramp up its manufacturing infrastructure and engineer out the cost. In the long term, commercial demand will far outstrip defense demand, driving down cost to the DoD and spurring further technical development.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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