my 5 wearable technology questions answered by dr. john fan, ceo of kopin
Similar opportunities to its CEO, Dr. John CC Fan. Dr.
Fan, an industry veteran, is involved in the creation of HBT transistors used in all smartphones, the original AMLCD micro-display technology of DARPA, and many other technologies and IP, this will be the key to head\'s success --worn wearables. Dr.
Fan agreed to spend some time with me to discuss Kopin\'s views on the current state of augmented reality and market opportunities for companies to offer opportunities in the enterprise and consumer verticals.
I took some points from our conversation: I condensed the conversation into a positive Q & A form and supplemented it with some observations of my own. Enjoy!
Derek: What do you think about the launch of AR opportunities?
I see two paths :(1)a heads-
Does not completely block your view or an upward display of everything trying to cover the top of the real world;
This is shown by the pupil design of Kopin; or (2)
Other concepts that completely block the user\'s view and try to create real AR vision that we see in the concept.
I think the first method is the feasible and practical method for AR at present.
How do you think about the development of AR in the next five years?
Are we going into this cycle with our heads?
AR method, then completely occlusion coverage within five years?
Or, maybe ten years before we see an optical AR covered in full occlusion? Dr.
Fan: AR has several ways of working.
Most AR used today is based on a tablet or smartphone-what we call video viewing-
With AR, you have a live video image on your device, and you are covering the computer
The generated image, such (for example)Pokéman.
But it\'s a video entertainment with covered scenes.
This is what consumers are ready to use today and what they are used.
While you have to move your eyes away from what you see in the real world, your brain is able to adjust.
This is similar to watching the GPS screen when you are driving.
We have adapted to small screens that provide the extra information we need.
As you know, coping has a very long history with the military, and in fact, it has been 40 years since the time of MIT.
For example, infrared military gun aiming is a simple form of AR, and Kopin has been designed for decades.
Kopin is also involved in the military avionics helmet market, a highly complex AR.
Complex AR devices such as for F-
35. It takes extremely complex technology to make 360-
The degree View cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
In order for complex AR devices to work, the brain has to be trained.
In the case of complete occlusion, users are constantly facing cognitive competition: What you see, what is real, what is not.
In addition, your focus is constantly changing.
Your brain has to decide what\'s important.
What is not important.
How do you get to that street?
Is the world ready?
It may be, but the human brain must be prepared.
Human evolution may not handle this much so quickly. tasking.
I\'m sure you\'re familiar with the disruptive innovation theory that clay kristenson described in his 1997 book, The Innovator\'s Dilemma.
\"So, what is the confusion that is happening in the tech industry, especially the AR headset? It is hands-free.
Disruptive innovation is really hands-on for Kopin.
Free user interface so you don\'t have to hold the device in your hand.
Now, the intention of the hand
Free is to eliminate the need for touch, or at least do not need to touch all the time.
So, you need an extra, new interface.
What is the new UI?
Is it gesture or voice?
Think about the hands-on environment
Free is the most useful in an outdoor or active environment.
If the user interface of your choice is voice and you need to cancel the noise as well, taking into account these dynamic environment elements.
If the hand you choose is sound
Free user interface, you also need voice commands.
But voice as a UI engine cannot allow distortion.
Otherwise, the speech recognition system will confuse and fail to recognize commands.
This requires a special type of filter that allows voice commands to work in a very noisy environment.
Another important consideration is that visually, no matter what you see through your hands
Free equipment is required to work indoors and outdoors.
The display should also be small and (hopefully)see-
Look around by or.
\"In addition, the screen should be able to align with and move out of sight as needed.
In other words, you have a so-called \"second screen\" when you want to see it, but it can be easily moved or adjusted so that it doesn\'t interfere with your focus.
It is worth mentioning that we exist in the second screen of wearable devices :(e. g.
Glass, Glass, etc)is very high.
In fact, I can\'t think of any serious products that don\'t use the Kopin LCD.
So consider these multiple criteria: Simple. complex, hands-
Free UI selection and visual adaptability-these are the elements that I \'ve seen in the near future that affect AR.
Human beings have accepted the concept of AR, we know that technology is here, and we see the value in our hands --
Both the military market, the enterprise market and the consumer market are free of charge.
For example, we are even at a stage where a pair of Wellsdesigned smart-
The glasses attached via Bluetooth to the phone in our pocket allow us to engage with our device even when our eyes are up and forward-rather than looking down at the screen in our hands.
These are short.
Reality and consideration.
But for our long term
Term view, many of the features that people see-like a fully immersive optical view --
Ask questions through AR experience.
Fully immersive optical observation
It is possible to pass AR, but we need to ask how humans will use it, given our limited capabilities
Tasks and how long does it take to train our brains to use this technology safely and without confusion?
Derek: after using the Solos product in Kopin\'s pupil optics, I was surprised at how small the optical module was and seemed to see --
Because your brain somehow fills in some of the details behind the presentation.
It\'s actually a very incredible optical system. Dr.
Fan: Pupil itself is a disruptive technology that meets a wide range of optical standards for wearable devices. You want see-
But the image has to be very bright so it can be used anywhere-even in the sun.
The efficiency of the optical system should be high, so the power consumption is very low.
You also have to address the focus change issue, because when you look at the image, from the display to the real world (and back again)
Your eyes will be renewedfocus.
This constant needs to be repeated.
Concentration can lead to fatigue in the eyes.
Pupil optics is so challenging because it is very small.
What you\'re talking about is a miniature light guide that uses very little light and very low energy to provide images directly to the human pupil.
Pupil optics focuses the image on a small point of the pupil.
Because only a part of your eye pupil is used to view the image on the display, your other pupil and exposed optical nerves can see everything else in your field of vision.
Your eyes combine the two image sources into one.
So our pupil opticsthrough AR.
Back to our military development, in our cooperation with soldiers, we learned that the user\'s vision is competing: you are watching unlimited at the same time, and you are also watching very close screens.
As an experiment, try to look at things in the distance and then quickly look at the phone-it takes time for your eyes to adjust.
Pupil optics solves this problem.
Basically, the pupil optics of Kopin minimize focus changes and eye fatigue, resulting in a more relaxed optical system than other structures.
Kopin began selling Solos smart-
In the past spring, cyclists had pupil glasses and the feedback from users was very strong.
Our users say they don\'t even notice the optical system right now-the optical modules are transparent to the user.
The new version of Solos will incorporate improved students with a better overall experience.
When Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)(GOOGL)
A few years ago, Apple\'s Tim Cook introduced glass for the first time (AAPL)
The famous saying is that smart glasses don\'t work.
Do you see executives from big tech companies like Apple changing their point of view, or do people still think smart glasses don\'t work?
Despite the recent shift to business, do they still think Glass is a failure?
Do we see a change in the opinions of the top level so that someone can seize the opportunity to create a viable smart glass shape with the brand? Dr.
This is a good question.
I think if Tim Cook still feels that way, we should ask him today.
Google Glass has turned to the enterprise. As we all know, we (Kopin)
Is the main supplier of Google Enterprise Edition (Glass).
After the shift, wearables have slowed for about 18 months, and many are hesitant.
There are always challenges as a pioneer, and we should expect setbacks-progress is not always linear, but that doesn\'t mean exploration is wrong.
The work Google Glass has done has greatly promoted-
Worn-out wearable devices and key technologies to increase market size.
Should people go back and think about whether the product is wrong?
Does this mean no hands-free required?
Don\'t you need augmented reality?
If you ask Apple today, you will find that they are very big on AR.
As far as they are concerned, AR is even more important than VR.
So AR is needed.
If you ask the Apple hand
They need to be free. They will definitely promise.
So, again, need to be there.
The question is, can this device work on the head like AR glass or Smart AR glass? Is that viable?
The most difficult thing to design is the headset: the head size is different, and the distance between individual pupils is very different.
There is also an aesthetic element: the device needs to look good and stylish, otherwise no one will wear it.
Fashion is the reason why people go to bands or smart watches now.
In the end, you still need to design headwear for AR, but head-
Installing wearable devices is the most difficult area for these devices and more devices to succeed at present. reasons.
I am very grateful to Google, RealWear, Vuzix and scout instruments because they are real pioneers who are trying different things and building up knowledge in space.
My point is that to fulfill the promise of smart glasses-I mean smart glasses with big fov, holographic photos and everything you dream of-we still have a while.
But many people think
The installed wearable device can replicate the experience of walking around with a mobile phone looking for Pokémon.
The lab is trying and someone will find the best location for devices that people can accept.
Personally, I think our solo-the smart glasses we work with the United States to buildS.
The professional and amateur training bike team is a good example of an early product.
But the question is: do we have the perfect solution?
Maybe not, but I think it may be the best in the world today and we have to see where we can improve-until the consumer says \"Aha, that\'s acceptable!
I can use this every day!
Once this happens, I see people saying \"smart glasses are finally here \".
Going back to the theory of Chris Tenson, we can\'t build a very complex and practical
Free Smart Glass equipment, no trial or error, no worries of growth. Keep it simple.
Keep the function of making it a hand
Free, but remove unnecessary features to make basic functions useful and beautiful at the same time (
And light weight on the head).
I gained weight because the other factor was comfort. Those 360-
To the extent, the fully enclosed avionics AR helmet-though coveted by consumers-is very heavy.
Their users are also sitting in chairs, in the pilot\'s seat, and trust me, these pilots are much stronger than ordinary people.
The conclusion of your question is that there is a personto-
Machine relationships that human evolution needs to adapt.
You can\'t think that humans can keep up with the technology we can design as soon as possible.
Some technologies, in their present form, may not be acceptable to human beings.
In terms of display technology, Kopin has a unique AMLCD transmission architecture.
I know that Kopin also has reflective LCOS displays with its subsidiary ForthDD, and of course, now OLED is becoming more and more important.
AMLCD has the advantages of low cost, durability and low power consumption.
Efficient, the market is ready to wait in line for something, does it apply immediately?
Or will the market jump to OLED?
Do you think that the permeable AMLCD still has time to be in the sun for wearing wearable devices with head wear? Dr.
This is a good question.
As you know, we also have OLED (
We believe this is the best OLED in the world).
We obviously continue to like the LCD micro-display, the most important reason is the brightness.
The LCD is very bright, several orders of magnitude higher than the brightness of OLED.
Now, under what circumstances do you need high brightness?
Avionics is a good example.
Under the Sun)
Become so bright that you need a very high brightness image for visual competition.
It can be quite inefficient by optics.
The designers of avionics helmets have to experience both bright sunlight and inefficient optical systems-which makes ultra-high brightness display critical.
The architecture that satisfies these problems is the LCD micro-display.
Now, the LCD has some disadvantages: Although it is very bright, its contrast does not match the contrast of OLED.
In addition, the LCD does not have oled fast when switching.
You can\'t see any blur when you watch TV through the LCD today, but it\'s still not as fast as OLED.
So, it really depends on the app you are looking for to display.
We always ask, what do you do with it, how bright do you need it, what contrast do you need?
Historically, choose LCD.
Of course, different micro-display architectures also have their supporters.
In order to prevent competitive technology from eroding market dominance, the market is constantly competing.
Therefore, with the improvement of the LCD, its contrast is improved.
OLED is also increasing its brightness.
The game continues.
OLED has very good contrast and high speed, but not bright enough for many applications and not cost effective for mass production.
The only company that can produce in large quantities is Sony (NYSE:SNE).
I think you saw our announcement about the new fab for OLED
On the Si micro display.
Without fab, the cost of the supply chain would not be low.
Interestingly, for OLED on glass, you will see more and more factories under construction-but they are different from the ones you need to produce OLED on silicon.
You need a dedicated silicon OLED factory.
When it comes to OLED micro-display capacity, Sony is the first.
But Kopin is number one in terms of technology and display resolution.
We have reached an agreement with a group that is currently building a factory that is expected to go live within 18 months and become the world\'s largest OLED factory.
With it, we hope to solve the market (low cost)
OLED micro-display supply chain issues.
Also, I think LCD and OLED will overlap as each architecture gets better.
The optical system is complex for the reflected LCOS.
Due to the more complex optics, the things you wear on your head with LCOS can be cumbersome.
In addition, it is slow and usually shows a color interrupt-
Or rainbow effect.
This is where our wholly owned subsidiary Dimension is located.
Make the iron body LCOS (FLCOS)
The display is very fast and has no rainbow effect and is perfect for use in AR.
In fact, ForthDD is 100-
Plus a 10 year training degree vision, full color, high resolution AR HMDs.
We are currently looking at the LCOS of ForthDD
Applications for head wear such as 3D metering, but also for virtual reality training to sell these types of displays.
For example, virtual reality training for the army, such as simulating a landing on an aircraft carrier or driving a tank).
Customers using ForthDD FLCOS displays actually build very complex virtual reality and training systems.
We are very experienced in VR field.
FLCOS are 100 times faster than traditional LCOS.
The products we offer are very unique.
Our AMLCD micro-display is a transmission type, and we are the only person in the world who can do the transmission type micro-display, which is also very bright.
We generate FLCOS with very high resolution and very fast LCOS.
As for OLED, Kopin offers the highest frame rate, high resolution technology today.
And, for these architectures, we will soon have a lot of manufacturing power.
This means that we are not only a technology manufacturer, but also a supplier of large-volume micro-displays of all types.
Derek: I have to ask about whispering.
I went on to focus on the technology, read all the patents for Whisper and looked at the work of Dasen van.
But I don\'t understand why we haven\'t seen a design win yet.
It seems that Whisper should provide significant improvements in the area of noise elimination, but I haven\'t seen a product with a Whisper design yet.
In terms of units, Whisper may end up being bigger than Kopin\'s presentation business, right? Dr.
I believe your final comment is correct.
I think as the voice engine becomes more advanced, both from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)or Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN)
Or some Chinese voice engine.
Our whisper audio products focus on wearable devices and near
The technology combines at least two microphones, one close to your mouth and one away from your mouth-the ability to sample about 16,000 acoustic environments per second from a microphone near your mouth.
Besides microphone technology, Whisper is also an AI system that is able to distinguish what is noise and what is a voice signal from your mouth.
While our Whisper technology is very advanced, headphone manufacturers are still in the early stages of development.
We expect to release a number of headphones with Whisper in the coming months.
We believe that there is a huge demand in the wearable headset market.
Although we have focused our initial market entry on the head --
Wearable devices, we have solved the problem.
The question now is, how do we package it?
What you\'re talking about now is a big market.
You can go to Amazon (AMZN)
Echo, or you can go to the car everywhere.
So now we\'re looking for the chance to whisper in a distant place --
One thing is for sure if we don\'t solve the near
Live noise cancellation problem for Whisper headphones, we will not solve this problemfield problem.
We are constantly investing in R & D and moving forward.
New technologies take time, especially disruptive technologies.
You must be persistent and patient.
The whisper is here, and the benefits are there.
Once we win the far design
People will find out how it works and people can\'t get enough from you.
Like our avionics AR technology, once people test
Driving our products, we have achieved a market share of more than 90%. Far-
Noise elimination on site is a big market.
If Whisper wins the design title, it could be a grand slam for Kopin.
Derek: Can you provide some concluding remarks?
Maybe you can frame the story of Kopin\'s growth.
What is Kopin\'s opportunity for the next five years? Dr.
My feeling is that Kopin has and will continue to offer disruptive technology.
A historical example includes the groundbreaking HBT transistor we developed using nanotechnology (
Created in 1990 in our MIT and DARPA era)
Now all the smartphones have them.
We sold the business a few years ago and transferred all our capital to wearables because we believe smartphones are the next wave after wearables.
We now tell the market what we have: Whispers, pupil optics, solos, etc.
Kopin is transforming the wearable device market from product development to commercial, similar to how we use HBT transistors.
Derek: Thank you for your time. Fan!
Disclosure: I am/We are long Kupa.