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  • Writer's pictureYosi Arazi

Brilliant Labs Frame Glasses AR Optics Development

Enhancing Innovation and User Experience

Brilliant Labs, a company known for its innovative AR solutions Monocle and Frame glasses that incorporate the use of AI with AR smart glasses for consumers, approached us with a vision to launch a new product. Their aim was to improve their existing AR product by incorporating enhancements learned during the development and use of the current version.

This case study outlines the collaborative process of JOYA Team with Brilliant Labs, a full AR product design from understanding user needs to delivering a high-performance, manufacturable AR optical system.

From User Needs to Engineering Spec

The journey began with a series of collaborative meetings with the Brilliant Labs team. It was crucial to understand the specific needs of their users, the limitations of the existing product, and where we could potentially relax some requirements without compromising the overall user experience. This part was very important in the Optical System Development process, and both teams spent a lot of effort on it. We knew that the key to success would be to tune the system to exactly the right working point to achieve a satisfying user experience, a consumer-friendly price, and comfort.

We engaged in extensive discussions, brainstorming sessions, and feedback loops to ensure all aspects were thoroughly considered.

Building the Initial Engineering SPEC

Based on these insights, we developed an initial optical engineering and system specification. This SPEC was a foundational document that outlined the technical requirements, performance criteria, and constraints of the new AR system. It served as a guideline for all subsequent design and development activities, ensuring alignment with Brilliant Labs' objectives.

Exploring AR Technology Alternatives

Surveying AR optical Technologies

With the SPEC in hand, we conducted a comprehensive survey based on our knowledge and experience and based on a market survey, of existing AR technologies. This involved a detailed review of various AR optics technologies from waveguides to Birdbath and Visor projected and other alternatives, comparing them in terms of optical performance, cost, complexity, and development time. Our goal was to identify the most suitable technology that met Brilliant Labs' needs and constraints.

Technology Trade-Off

The survey results were presented to the Brilliant Labs founders, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each technology. After thorough discussions, we collectively chose the best technology that aligned with the company's SPEC. This decision was crucial in setting the direction for the conceptual optical design phase.

Conceptual Optical Design and Simulation

Preliminary Optical Design

The next step was to develop a conceptual primary optical design. This phase involved creating an initial optical design that met the defined SPEC, focusing on key optical parameters such as field of view, resolution, and image quality. The conceptual optical design served as a start point for detailed simulations and prototyping.

Optical Simulations

To validate the optical design, we performed extensive optical simulations. These simulations provided a vivid representation of how the image would look, including any potential interferences such as stray light and image artifacts. According to our experience, entrepreneurs without a deep background in optical engineering often struggle to interpret technical data like MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) curves. Therefore, we created simulations that demonstrated what a typical image would look like to the user, explaining concepts like vignetting and low resolution in a more intuitive manner.

Prototyping and Refinement

Rapid Optics Prototyping

With the conceptual optical design validated through simulations, we proceeded to build a rapid optical prototype. This prototype allowed us to better understand critical optical challenges and user interactions. It also provided a tangible model for testing and feedback, enabling us to identify and address any issues early in the development process.

Optical Design Optimization

Feedback from the rapid prototype we built showed improvements to the optical design. We also identified a few artifacts and refined the design to enhance performance and address issues like stray light. This iterative process of prototyping and refinement ensured that the final design met all performance criteria and user expectations.

Frame Virtual Prototype in LightTools
Frame Virtual Prototype in LightTools

Optical Simulations and Virtual Prototype

After identifying artifacts such as stray light and ghost images in the initial simulations, we delved deeper into the optical and non-imaging simulations to examine their sources. We used the optical software tools such al LightTools to create a Virtual Prototype that we could analyze and optimize in software, examining the optical performances and changing the design until the results match the expectations. By understanding the root causes of these artifacts, we were able to develop solutions to minimize their impact, further refining the optical design.

Ghost Analysis &Optimization
Ghost Before and After Optimization

Collaboration with Optical Manufacturers

Making the Design Manufacturable

To ensure the design could be efficiently manufactured, we collaborated closely with the optical manufacturer during the initial optical design. This involved adapting the design to align with the manufacturing capabilities of our partners, ensuring that the final product could be produced at scale without compromising on quality. We focused on defining primary tolerances for the optical components, as tolerances are critical in optical engineering to meet required specifications and perform optimally in the final assembly. Conversely, we eased tolerances where manufacturers faced difficulties, which helped reduce the cost of optical elements and accelerate the prototyping process. Every piece of feedback from the manufacturer was validated through optical simulations, and the entire team participated in balancing manufacturability, cost, and performance.

Building an Assembly and Calibration Process

Developing Calibration and Testing Procedures

To guarantee high performance and quality in the final product, we contributed also out optical testing proficiency and assisted the manufacturer and Brilliant Labs in developing comprehensive assembly, calibration and test methods. These procedures ensured that each unit met the stringent performance criteria outlined in the initial engineering specifications.

Design to Manufacturability

By refining the assembly and testing processes, we were able to turn the product into a more manufacturable solution. This involved optimizing the production workflow to improve efficiency and reduce costs while maintaining high performance and quality standards.

Providing Longterm Ongoing Support

Throughout the development process, we provided ongoing support to Brilliant Labs. This included addressing any issues that arose during production and ensuring that the final product met all performance and quality standards.

AR Optics Development Success Story

Our collaboration with Brilliant Labs exemplifies the power of close cooperation and iterative development in creating high-performance AR optical systems. From understanding user needs to developing a manufacturable design, each step was crucial in delivering a product that not only met but exceeded expectations. By leveraging our expertise in optical design, non-imaging design, optical testing, and system engineering, we were able to create an innovative AR solution that stands out in the market. This project is a great showcase of our unique set of services.

Through this project, we demonstrated the importance of a user-centric approach, thorough technological surveys, detailed optical simulations, and robust prototyping. Our commitment to excellence and continuous improvement ensured that Brilliant Labs could offer a superior AR product to their users, enhancing their experience and solidifying the company's position as a leader in the augmented reality industry.

Final Product:  Brilliant Labs Frame AR+AI glasses
Final Product: Frame AR+AI glasses


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