A new industry organization has been formed called the LaSAR Alliance with the aim of bringing together a community around laser scanning technology and applications in the AR market. According the press release describing their formation, LaSAR’s goal is to provide an environment to facilitate a marketplace for ideas where members can exchange and share information, collaborate, and partner to create, build, and grow effective and compelling LBS (Laser-Beam Scanning)-based solutions, share best practices, and help drive the growth of the market for Augmented Reality wearables.
Bharath Rajagopalan, Chair of the LaSAR Alliance, told us that it has taken 2 years to get this Alliance off the ground. Founding members include ST, where Rajagopalan is Director of Strategic Marketing, offering MEMS scanners and LBS solutions; Osram Opto Semiconductors with lasers; Applied Materials with their Engineering Optics group that does specialized manufacturing; Dispelix, a waveguide developer; and Mega1, which is onboard as an LBS engine assembler. The first new member has also been announced: EyeWay, a start-up working on an AR eyeglasses solution.
“With this core group we have the companies that can provide the key LBS engine components and assembly services from brands that customers can be comfortable relying on – a key need for any high volume manufacturer to consider,” noted Rajagopalan. “We are an open organization and encourage other companies to consider joining – even with competitive offerings — as it is still early days and we think cooperation will benefit all players.” He also hinted that additional new member announcements could be coming soon as well.
“There are many components available to build a LBS engine, but you can’t easily mix or match these elements,” explained Rajagopalan. “If there were more common interfaces and best practices around these elements, it could lead to greater interoperability paving the way for a more robust manufacturing environment that is more attractive for end developers, who’d create the products and applications that would build the market.”
Rajagopalan also sees LBS solutions as offering the best AR solution in terms of size, weight, and power along with performance. “LBS solutions offer product designers the flexibility to tradeoff between the Field of View (FOV), resolution, and power while offering the ability to do retinal scanning, which we see as the best end-game approach to AR,” said Rajagopalan.
The LaSAR Alliance has established two initial committees to begin to achieve their goal of fostering development of all-day-wearable smart glasses and head-mounted-display solutions. The Marketing committee will seek to evangelize on the benefits of LBS at various trade shows and via seminars, webinars, and demonstrations. The Content committee will develop the content for such presentations and an enhanced web site.
Several tiers of membership are available so check out their web site at: https://lasaralliance.org/