Holographic optic could revolutionise augmented reality (and even works in 3D)

British company TruLife Optics claims to have created the perfect technology for wearable HUDs

Wearable technology could be getting a huge boost – and it’s all coming courtesy of a London-based company called TruLife Optics.

TruLife has designed and engineered what it says is the perfect optical component for wearable head-up displays and augmented reality (AR) gadgets: it’s small and lightweight, it’s relatively simple to use and it’s capable of putting full colour high resolution graphics in front of the wearer’s eyes without blocking or distorting his or her natural vision. Oh, and it can even create 3D images too.

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The secret? Holograms. The optic uses two holographic elements rather than see-through screens or jewel lenses, and can transfer – by bending light through 90 degrees – the image through a totally transparent main piece called a “waveguide”. So, when not displaying anything, the entire element is completely see through – and even when it is displaying images, only they are visible.

The two holographic displays (one for each eye, hence their ability to display 3D images) are each the size of a postage stamp, and the entire element is 10cm long, 3cm wide and just 2.8mm in depth.

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TruLife, which developed the technology in partnership with the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington (yes, just down the road from Stuff’s office) is available now, with each optic priced at £300. That means companies designing their own AR and HUD wearables will soon be able to integrate it into their prototypes. We can’t wait to see (pun intended) what people do with it.

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