BAE Systems on track to put augmented reality technology into a headset the size of a regular pair of glasses

Press Information Saab AB

5 Sep 2019 – Today, BAE Systems announced that it has finalized the prototype of its augmented reality (AR) glasses in the form of a lightweight headset, bringing its engineers one step closer to creating one of the highest performing, brightest, and most durable AR glasses in the market.

The milestone marks the penultimate stage of the product’s development, and demonstrates the technology’s future capabilities. When finished, the head-worn display will offer unrivalled head-tracking and imagery stabilization, capable of operating in the harshest of environments and on moving platforms. The final product will fit comfortably like a regular pair of glasses and use free-space tracking technology to display guidance, targeting, and mission information to the user, along with sensor video.

Improvements to the system since the concept demonstrator was launched in late 2017 include the transition from monochrome to a full-color display, a two-fold increase in the field of view (now 40° x 30°), and the introduction of an inertial head-tracker, similar to that found in the company’s flagship Striker® II head-mounted display. A key discriminating advantage of the AR glasses is the brightness of the display, allowing daylight readability in the outside world.

“We’ve made significant progress since the conceptual demonstration of the AR glasses. Our engineers have been working closely with real-world end users, in both military and commercial domains, to ensure the technology meets and exceeds customer expectations,” said Nigel Kidd, director of head-mounted displays at BAE Systems. “The final product won’t just be a world-leading display, it will provide its user with peace-of-mind; this is a system that, from concept, is being designed with end user safety and product reliability at the heart of every decision.”

BAE Systems will continue to develop its AR solution to meet the desired size, weight, and power requirements indicated by potential customers, dependent on their particular use case for the product. Engineers are already working to explore the integration of AR onto bridges of naval ships. This capability would allow the officer responsible for the ship’s safety to work outside of the operations room and still be able to see tactical situation data and other vital information from anywhere on the ship.

Experts in moving and controlling light, BAE Systems has 60 years of experience in the design, development, and production of high-integrity displays. Whether head-worn or head-up, the company’s intuitive displays provide users with essential information when and where it’s needed most. BAE Systems continuously invests in display technology and innovation to provide its customers with unparalleled situational awareness — giving them the critical edge they need, no matter the environment.

Photo and viewgraph courtesy BAE Systems