Bosch preps next-generation smartglasses platform

February 13, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Bosch preps smartglasses platform
Bosch Sensortec has announced an optical light drive and control system suitable of inclusion in the arms of smartglasses.

Bosch Sensortec has produced prototype smartglasses to demonstrate suitability for applications in head-up navigation, for messaging and notifications instead of smartwatch and for directed activities including to-do lists, shopping lists and other check lists.

The system level product is based on the BLM050 microscanner that was introduced in 2017 (see MEMS scanner projects Bosch Sensortec into displays, user interfaces).

The BLM050 is a generic two-MEMS optical scanner for RGB visible light and IR laser projection which is inherently in focus. The component can be used for the projection of images and the creation of a projected virtual user interface and Bosch has developed its geometry perspective scaling to allow images to appear correct when under oblique projection.

Bosch Sensortec is now offering the MEMS scanner along with laser, and beam shaper, control ASIC and Bluetooth communications on a PCB that can fit into the arm of smartglasses as part number BML500P. The unit weighs less than 10g and is compatible with curved lenses of prescription glasses.

The unit also includes the BHI260 smart accelerometer including 32bit MCU, the BMP388 barometric pressure sensor, and the BMM150 magnetometer. These sensors enable user interface features such as multi-tap functions on the frame to improve convenience while operating the glasses.

This is also an example of the platform approach to MEMS component selling previously advocated by Bosch Sensortec CEO Stefan Finkbeiner (see MEMS platforms are way to go, says Bosch's Finkbeiner).

The display is laser-based with the beam of light scanned on to a transparent holographic element (HOE) embedded in the glasses and then on to wearers retina. The content is invisible to the outside world and is private to the user.

Bosch Sensortec can also provide a turnkey light-drive with holographic lens support for companies with less engineering resource or requiring faster time to market. The company claims the images are bright even in direct sunlight.

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