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New metaverse headset platform unveiled at CES 2023

05 January 2023
Omnivision’s OG0VE image sensor could be used for drones, machine vision, barcode scanners and metaverse applications. Source: Omnivision

Omnivision announced a partnership at CES 2023 with DigiLens to develop a new line of augmented, virtual and extended reality (AR/VR/XR) platforms using the two companies’ complementary technologies.

DigiLens is a developer of waveguide technologies and the partnership with Omnivision — a developer of semiconductor solutions for digital imaging, touch and display technology — will accelerate its move to deploy new XR technologies for headset OEMs.

According to Devang Patel, marketing director for emerging technologies at OmniVision, DigiLens will use Omnivision’s liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) sensors and combine it with an optical engine, DigiLens’ waveguide technology and a global shutter sensor for tracking in a platform to allow vendors to build next generation AR/VR/XR headsets and glasses.

Patel said DigiLens will initially focus on the B2B market for the extended reality solution for businesses in factory automation, warehouses, logistics, robotics, drones, 3D modeling or medical use cases, but in the future, it may develop a consumer solution as well.

Omnivision’s LCoS panels allow DigiLens to build projects that are optimized for its holographic waveguides. This technology will allow DigiLens to build a 30° landscape field of view with a retina display light engine that will provide more than 2,500 nits/lumen of brightness to the wearer’s eye while at a healthy 28 mm eye relief at a transparency of 85% see through.

Due to the number of cameras used in metaverse headsets — for face tracking, lip tracking, vision tracking and inward and outward looking — Omnivision’s small form factor for LCoS panels is beneficial to OEMs.

“Because so many cameras are needed, space constraints are extreme in these headsets,” Patel said. “Any space savings is important especially as vendors are looking to reduce the overall form factor of VR/AR headsets in the next generation. Small sensors benefit vendors by making the headsets or glasses lightweight, small and can be worn 24/7.”

DigiLens will be showcasing its latest AR/VR/XR solutions at CES 2023, which takes place Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

Growth expected

While the market for metaverse headsets took a plunge in 2022 — with headset shipments declining 12.8% — growth is expected to return in 2023 as shipments are forecast to jump 31.5%, according to new research from International Data Corp. (IDC).

Additionally, IDC forecasts sustained growth of more than 30% for the next several years, culminating in 35.1 million units shipped in 2026.

Metaverse sensor

That’s good news for Omnivision as it also introduced a new global shutter images sensor called the OG0VE. This CMOS image sensor is designed for mainstream metaverse applications as it is 26% smaller and over 50% more powerful than Omnivision’s previous global shutter image sensor.

Due to the low-light sensitivity and pixel architecture, the 0G0VE sensor could be used for:

  • Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)
  • Gesture detection
  • Head and eye tracking
  • Depth and motion detection

The sensor has a 64 x 480 resolution and consumes less than 34 mW running at 60 fps with VGA.

The global shutter could be used in applications such as drones, machine vision, barcode scanners and AR/VR/XR metaverse devices.

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