09 May 2007
The companies will collaborate on the development of miniature projection displays for cockpit applications.
Light Blue Optics (LBO), UK, and French defense company Thales have signed an agreement to develop miniature displays based on LBO's laser projection technique. The collaboration aims to produce displays for cockpits and other aerospace applications.
LBO's displays use laser projection to create large, full color images that remain in focus at all distances. A diffraction pattern of the desired 2D image, calculated using holographic algorithms, is displayed on a phase-modulating Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) microdisplay. When illuminated by coherent laser light, the desired image is projected without the need for a projection lens or a focus control.
This diffractive method of projection lends itself to miniaturization, and allows images to appear on curved and angled surfaces without distortion. It is said to suit safety-critical applications and be tolerant to microdisplay pixel failure, making it of potential interest for driver and pilot visibility systems.
Chris Harris, CEO of Light Blue Optics described the agreement as "a strategic collaboration that will bring LBO's holographic laser projection together with Thales' understanding of the interaction between humans and information display systems. We anticipate it will form the basis of a long-term relationship."
The companies state that they have already identified revenue opportunities for the technology, and will be delivering it to customers in the near term.