Surprisingly, the applications for lasers continue to innovative, even in our current world. In the case of smart glasses, instead of projecting an image on glass with traditional display technology, laser is predicting light directly on the retina. Or in the case of LiFi, the idea of mobile connection to a mobile device that is moving around has been overcome by using a laser which does require direct went to point. But this technology is using laser in unique way to maintain continuous connection
The Bosh light drive smart glasses are wearable AR VR device that uses lasers to protect image directly on the wearer’s retina. This device is much lighter than other smart glasses, and much more elegant in form factor. This technology also makes images that are much more consistent and simple, the wearer does not need to go through mental gymnastics in the way that VR in particular works for example. there is a different mental paradigm with this device that takes getting used to, as we’ll see here shortly, but overall is much simpler than traditional AR/VR.
Both of these laser technologies are quite new and in early stages of development. The smart glasses were displayed at CES, but it is not a consumer ready product. Laser-based leaf internet is even more nascent, there are demo available from an R&D organization and there’s a university working on it as well. even in today’s fast-paced world, these technologies will take quite some time to roll out, and just not certain how well they would be adopted if at all. In the case of the smart glasses, there are advantages from the simplicity of the implementation, but this results in reduced functionality which may deter consumers from overcoming the initial friction of a smart glasses experience. The laser-based leaf internet will likely take even longer to find its way into consumers hands, if ever. There is an interesting dichotomy going on almost paradoxical here because the user experience would be so much better, and thinking back only a few years ago when wireless internet was new, or back even further when ethernet cable had to be wired all over the place internet was quite a pain in the backside to get rolled out. In comparison to those challenges the friction to deploy is less, but in the ensuing years consumer expectations have also risen.
It is surprising to see that the technology itself is not very expensive, although development did take quite a long time. So from an effort perspective there has been quite an investment, but the actual production cost is low. This is especially true compared to how laser technology used to be, back when CDs and DVDs were first being built. Nowadays, these technologies are not very expensive from a low-level hardware and laser perspective, but the consumer experience required surrounding the technology may still be quite expensive, for example building elegant tomorrow glasses or convenient leaf based internet will require fairly expensive gear and support capabilities.
The bigger challenges here are around consumer adoption when it comes to getting these technologies into production. Lasers are being used to innovate and that is creating fantastic consumer experience potential, at the cost of a paradigm shift. Consumer product companies are even wary investing in infrastructure to build out these new technologies because consumers may be hesitant to adopt them.
Retina painting laser smart glasses quite unique, Bosch is on the forefront with the only significant example at the moment. Leaf laser-based internet is being developed by a couple of organizations, pure and leaf are two organizations with demonstration examples. Both of these technologies innovation is being driven by more of pure technology type organizations, as opposed to consumer product companies. Continuing the theme of paradox we have traditionally more of embedded technology development type companies with consumer product prototypes on hand. Hopefully partnerships will form between these technical innovators and consumer driven companies, such as Apple, Samsung, or Google.
Lasers have unique features and physical properties that solve common problems and especially effective ways. lasers have also become quite inexpensive in and of themselves, creating great potential for game-changing products. And it’s amazing how small lasers have become over the past decades, and this has opened new doors for using lasers internal and embedded 4 super small and lightweight products. This is a key feature of modern laser technology that is enabling the products. The smart glasses would be unbearable with heavy lasers of the 80s, and the leaf internet would not work if it will not possible to create a tiny dome with easily redirectable lasers on the fly.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy a Fusion for the Laser Mouse – Kraftwerk Computer Love – 2009 Remaster: