OmniVision template could lead to more Glass-like wearable displays

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Jon Fingas
October 14, 2013 2:48 AM
OmniVision template could lead to more Glass-like wearable displays

Not every tech company can afford to build a head-mounted display from scratch; thanks to OmniVision's new OmniGlass reference design, they won't have to. The template combines a 0.26-inch, 720p liquid crystal on silicon display with a 4-megapixel camera and an imaging chip, giving firms most of what they'd need to craft a Google Glass-like wearable computer beyond the computer itself. Don't anticipate a flood of me-too products just yet, though. OmniGlass developer kits and sample units are available today, but mass production won't start until the second quarter of 2014.

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OmniVision Releases OmniGlass™ Reference Design for Fast-Growing Wearable Electronics Market

New Design Leverages OmniVision's OVP2200, the World's Smallest 720p High Definition LCOS Solution

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, today announced OmniGlass™, a new reference design that combines a wearable display and a camera module for the rapidly growing wearable electronics market. The OmniGlass™ reference design combines OmniVision's new ultra-compact and low-power OVP2200 liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) solution, which displays 720p high-definition (HD) video, with the OVP921, a companion chip that provides image processing support and further simplifies system design. Together, the OVP2200 and OVP921 deliver a complete high performance display solution that is structured specifically for the next-generation wearable consumer electronics market.

"We're bringing the OVP2200 to market at a time when the wearable electronics industry is poised for explosive growth. Industry analysts are predicting that the global market volumes for wearable electronics will exceed 130 million units by 2018, reaching an estimated $8 billion in revenues[1]," said Raymond Sun, senior manager, LCOS business at OmniVision. "By building the OVP2200 LCOS display into the OmniGlass reference design, we can help enable our customers and partners to quickly enter the burgeoning wearable display and camera markets with highly competitive offerings."

The OmniGlass reference design is a complete optical head-mounted display (OHMD), equipped with a 4-megapixel autofocus camera that delivers high quality 720p HD video, and a best-in-class display enabled by OmniVision's high-performance OVP2200 LCOS solution. The device's image processor is capable of supporting various wireless connections, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and enables on-screen display (OSD) features for augmented reality applications.

The single-chip OVP2200 is a color field sequential LCOS device with a native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a diagonal measurement of 0.26-inch. It uses all-digital technology to produce clear, stable images. The OVP2200's ultra-compact form factor and low-power consumption make it an ideal LCOS solution for applications ranging from wearable smartphone displays to sports and medical cameras.

The OVP921 companion chip provides enhanced system performance without the need for external memory or an image processor. It has built-in keystone correction, frame rate conversion, video input scaling, interface to LED controller and an embedded microcontroller. The OVP921 can accept video data from three different signal inputs: 24-bit RGB, MIPI or USB.

A prototype of OmniGlass is currently available for demonstrations, and a development kit is available for customer sampling upon request. The OVP2200 is currently sampling, with volume production expected to begin during the second quarter of 2014.

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