Ocutrx Technologies, an augmented/extended reality (AR/XR) and 3D visualization manufacturing company, has received three new patents on its unique Near-Eye Pupil-Forming Catadioptric Optical Engine by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
At 70 degrees FOV diagonally, the patents teach the widest field-of-view (FOV) in the AR industry (60 horizontally and 40 degrees vertically).
These patents are significant in the augmented and extended reality sector since "waveguide" technology are used by practically every other headset manufacturer, including Microsoft (HoloLens 2), Magic Leap, Beyeonics (Clear), Augmedic (Xvision), and Dispelix.
Waveguide optics, in general, restricted the user to a small field of view and were notorious for chromatic aberrations and artifacts. According to a company news release, Ocutrx's patents include a wholly new approach that is unrelated to waveguides.
“After attending SPIE (the global photonics convention) this year, it is my impression that nothing else in AR has such a large field-of-view, high resolution, brightness, and crisp artifact-free cinematic quality except Ocutrx’s Catidioptrxx optics in their AR/XR headsets,” said Dr. Kessler, Ocutrx’s Chief Optical Engineer, and a member of the Ocutrx International Scientific Advisory Board, chaired by William Link, PhD.
The company's first patent, US11,112,611, entitled "System and Method for a Wearable Pupil-Forming Display Apparatus," was issued in September 2021 and covers the OcuLenz AR/XR wearable headset and its specific lens configuration based on catadioptric optics that form a superimposed 3D image from an electroluminescent image generator onto a visible object scene using pupil imaging.
Time of flight, SLAM, head and hand gesturing sensors, 6DOF tracking, voice UI, and context awareness are all included in the headgear patent. Actuators for adjusting generated picture content to the viewer are also covered by the patent.
This patent covers what is thought to be the industry's biggest field-of-view, at 60 degrees horizontally and 40 degrees vertically, a 16:9 format that customers are accustomed to in televisions and monitors.
The second patent, 11,1O7,610, entitled "System, Method, and Non-Transitory Computer-Readable Storage Media Related Wearable Pupil-Forming Display Apparatus with Variable Opacity and Dynamic Focal Length Adjustment," was issued in October of 2021 and covers the AR/XR headset with "Dynamic Opacity," which is a light modulator in the visible path capable of varying opacity of the visible object scene according to image characteristics.
The Dynamic Opacity, like photochromatic lenses, allows the user to increase the shade on the outer lens so that the virtual picture can be seen in strong light or on a sunny day. This overcomes one of AR's most troublesome issues, which is image brightness in bright light.
This patent also tackles another difficult unsolved challenge in the industry: the eyes looking both near and far while maintaining a crisp virtual image. When viewing close-up real-world things, a shorter focus length is preferable. To achieve this, the patent’s solution provides automatic sensor measurement for diopter adjustment of the optical relay optics as a part of a focal plane adjustment system.
The third patent, US Patent No. 11,181,747, is titled "Wearable Pupil-Forming Display Apparatus," and its claims cover an AR/XR headset with catadioptric optics and microdisplays that are positioned perpendicular and away from the user's forehead to reduce heat. It also includes data acquisition for the viewer, as well as eye-tracking in the headgear and extra control system functions and capabilities.
“We have had a trifecta of a patent a month for the last 3 months and we are incredibly pleased to add these important patents to our Intellectual property portfolio and the value of our company. These patents bring us to eight (8) patents issued now, with over a hundred pending in more than 30 patent families,” said Michael Freeman, CEO/CTO of Ocutrx Vision Technologies. “
“These patents are important to the entire augmented reality headset industry, which is expected to bloom to over $300 billion per year.”
“We also applaud Dr. Kessler on his 100th patent, which was the 3rd optical patent for Ocutrx,” Mr. Freeman added. Most of Dr. Kessler’s other patents were for Eastman Kodak Company where he manages their Advanced Optical Systems Design Group within Kodak Research Labs.