Mojo Vision’s new microdisplay is just 480μm (or 0.48mm) across, smaller than a grain of sand. The display seems to be targeted at the virtual reality and or augmented reality markets. But, maybe not.
All images used courtesy of Mojo Vision.
The applications of such a tiny display may not be immediately clear to some engineers, but Mojo Vision has ideas that involve a concept they've termed "Invisible Computing."
What Is Invisible Computing?
Mojo Vision is heavily involved in what it calls Invisible Computing, a somewhat nebulous concept. Mojo Vision’s website copy makes references to the technology allowing us to "focus on a world around us and give us access to immediate and relevant information wherever we go, without distraction."
This would seem to suggest that the company’s goal is to allow consumers to access digital information at the same time that they view the real, physical world around them.
In any case, the company is being somewhat coy about its purpose. According to Steve Sinclair, the senior vice president of product and marketing, the Mojo Vision LED display “is one piece of several building blocks that we have to have in place to build the product that we’re making,”
An Astonishing 14,000 Pixels-Per-Inch
The new display sports 14,000 pixels per inch. This is over two orders-of-magnitude greater than the pixel density of most smartphones.
The new display is 0.48 mm across, and according to Paul Martin, VP for displays, “The pixels are 1.3 [micrometers across], which means that the gap is only 0.5 µm. Smaller gaps creates harder and harder problems of fabrication.”
No comment as to how this remarkable feat was accomplished.
GaN (gallium nitride) technology is well known to power engineers, and the material can also be used to fashion LEDs. Among their advantages over the now dominant OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) technology is that they consume about 10% of the power and shine almost ten times as bright.
This by itself makes them a great bet for smartphones—viewable in daylight and longer time between charges. And, it’s also quite relevant for devices like virtual reality headsets and heads up displays (HUDs).
More Hints for Microdisplay Applications
As described by Martin, “The dimensions of it are purpose built for the application we’re going to use it for." Furthermore, “We need it to be incredibly small in overall dimensions so it is not blocking your real-world view.” And, as Sinclair said, “We’re trying to build something personal that is always with you but is small enough so it doesn’t distract you.”
This might indicate Mojo Vision intends its development is targeted at some sort of heads up display. And, if “invisible computing” is to be taken to mean looking at the world and computer data simultaneously, that may be a possible direction.
Where Are MicroLED Displays Heading
Mojo Vision isn’t done squeezing in ever more pixels into a given space. According to Sinclair, “Our goal is to match resolution of the human eye eventually.” As devices become ever more personal and displays are moved closer and closer to the eye itself, pixels packed more tightly yet will be required.
Other Microdisplay Developments
Plessy has entered into a long-term agreement to combine Plessey’s microLED light source technology with Vuzix’ extensive expertise and IP in smart glasses and essential optics technologies. Vuzix has already developed an evolving family of Smart Glasses. Plessey has also been a pioneer in the use of GaN-on-silicon in microdisplays.
On the other end of the size spectrum, there is Samsung’s The Wall, which is a MicroLED-based display large enough to dominate, well, an entire wall.
What applications do you think these microdisplays will find in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below.