New waveguide is the thinnest and lightest available, driving technology industry ambitions for consumer AR wearables forward

 3 February 2020, San Francisco, California – Today, UK-based WaveOptics unveils another industry first at Photonics West with Katana, the industry’s thinnest and lightest waveguide.  This waveguide expands AR wearable design possibilities for consumer technology companies with ambitions to make augmented reality wearables for the mass market as 5G and connected devices become mainstream.

To date, AR wearables have struggled to balance image quality with stylish, affordable headset design suitable for everyday use. Katana overcomes this challenge through its ground-breaking design which addresses three barriers to wider consumer adoption: level of power usage, cost, and design. All achieved while delivering the bright, crisp and clear image quality consumers expect.

“Katana is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for augmented reality headsets, bringing mass market ambitions closer to reality,” said David Hayes, CEO of WaveOptics. “As the thinnest, full colour waveguide now available on the market, Katana enables our customers to design new products that can meet the performance expectations of a wider range of consumers, and we can help them do that at the right price point. As 5G takes off and the focus turns to wearables, we are looking forward to seeing what our customers will do with this technology.”

All WaveOptics’ waveguides can be customised and are designed with mass manufacture in mind. This means waveguides can be tailored to suit the exact design needs of any consumer use case – from sports applications to retail to everyday city navigation – without compromising on affordability or scale.

At only 7g and 1.15mm in thickness, Katana represents the latest addition to WaveOptics range of waveguide technology platforms that product designers can choose from to deliver their desired augmented reality experiences. Katana waveguide technology represents the next generation platform of WaveOptics waveguides. WaveOptics offers the widest range of fields of view (FoV), with best image quality and flexible form factors, that can be mass manufactured at low cost, unlike anyone else in the industry.

Notes to Editors
The new generation of waveguides are made with the latest glass and resin technologies. The 2020 WaveOptics’ waveguide technology platform is based on higher refractive index glass and resin, compared to previous waveguides in the WaveOptics portfolio. The overall waveguide portfolio has a range of Field of Views (FoV) between 15° – 60°.

WaveOptics Katana waveguide specs with the other WaveOptics waveguide offerings:

Feature Katana Vulcan Odin
Thickness 1.15mm 3.1mm 2.65mm
Weight 7g 12g 17g
Field of View (FoV) Up to 30⁰ 28⁰ and 40⁰ 60⁰
Full Colour? Yes Yes Yes
Ideal for: Light weight, low cost, low power smart glasses design Light weight smart glasses design where colour and complexity of AR headset is more than just notification-based use cases. Full colour, ultra-high field of view & periphery vision.


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