Swave Photonics introduces single panel true color HXR display for AR Smart Glasses

In Augmented Reality News 

May 23, 2024 – Swave Photonics, a provider of holographic display technology, has today demonstrated a prototype of its first true color 3D holographic display technology using phase change materials.

Using chip-based “Holographic eXtended Reality” (HXR) technology, the prototype from Swave uses what the company stated is “the world’s smallest pixel” to steer light and sculpt high-resolution images for full spatial color.

What are “phase change materials”?

Phase change materials are substances that can change their physical state (like from solid to liquid) when heated or cooled. When it comes to display technology, they are used to control light at a very small scale. This helps create the tiny pixels that make up the high-resolution images.

Spatial color versus current color displays

Swave stated that a spatial color approach allows the human eye to perceive images naturally and is easier for the brain to process. According to the company, it is able to deliver full spatial color by arranging color filters in a specific pattern on a single panel that is divided into subpixel color regions. The advantages of full spatial color include reduced visual artifacts, longer battery life and a more natural visual experience thanks to the elimination of eye motion artifacts and optimization of static image quality.

Traditional displays use either three separate panels for each primary color (red, green, and blue), or they flash these colors in quick sequences to create full-color images. These methods can be bulky, expensive, or require a lot of power, according to Swave.

“Swave’s early stage prototype holographic images were monochrome, allowing us to demonstrate proof of concept on this breakthrough technology,” said Mike Noonen, CEO of Swave. “The next step of developing HXR in full color is extremely challenging. Many technologies trick the human brain to form colors by rapidly sequencing different colors. Achieving simultaneous color brings us one step closer to recognizing the vision of reality-first augmented reality (AR) informed by AI in a compact form factor.” 

Color HXR for compact smart glasses

Swave stated that the first application for the company’s color HXR display technology will be energy efficient and lightweight smart glasses. Spatial color is advantageous for both indoor and outdoor use, making it the ideal color display for everyday wear.

“Swave is reinventing the way that color is shown and seen on a display,” said Edward Buckley, vice president of AR solutions at Swave. “By employing a spatial color approach, Swave is able to provide a clear path towards all-day wearable, consumer grade AR. Swave’s holographic AR display is the only one which is matched to human vision and perception, making it easier on the eyes and brain while providing significant size, cost and power benefits.”

For more information on Swave Photonics and its Holographic eXtended Reality (HXR) display technology, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Swave

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.