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Vuzix Corp. (VUZI) Wins Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Award from the Office of Naval Research

Vuzix, a supplier of video eyewear and smart glasses products in the consumer, commercial, and entertainment markets, has been awarded the remaining ~$75,000 phase I Option and a ~$680,000 phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Office of Naval Research.

The SBIR, entitled “Head Worn Display (“HWD”) Augmented Reality for Military Training Applications,” is to develop the thin see-through waveguide-based optics and display engines fixed in a pair of goggles to superimpose computer-generated information on an individual’s view of the real world.

Phase II of this SBIR will be to develop the optics and display engines and partner with Six15 Technologies, a provider of rugged, high-resolution HMDs and OEM optoelectronic module manufacturing, to integrate those optics into a standard pair of HMDs.

Augmented reality technology places virtual computer-generated objects into a person’s field of view, serving a variety of purposes, including training applications. Though the commercial sector is rapidly developing augmented reality applications for smart phones, a consumer-grade HWD is needed for serious military training applications. Currently, one of the biggest challenges to this technology in dismounted applications is the head worn display. There is a need for augmented reality HWDs that have the form factor of sunglasses or ballistic goggles and can operate for hours without needing to be recharged, says Vuzix.

Follow-on phases of the award, which are expected to be valued at significantly higher dollar value, will develop field deployable solutions with larger field of views that can be put to work in the simulation and training needs of the U.S. Navy.

Paul Travers, president of Vuzix, in the news release stated, “The engineering team at Vuzix demonstrated an in-depth command of the technical and development challenges for the requirements of this award. Our technology showed the greatest innovation and the ability to provision displays to meet the see through and wide field of view requirements of the Navy’s program.”

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