一是垂直光学，即最早期的时候非球面透镜，起着放大镜的功能，比如cordborst、VR盒子，包括早期的VR一体机等产品，以及HTC VIVE、PICO NEO3、QUEST2采用的菲涅尔镜片；二是折叠光学，也就是简称的Pancake，包括单片、双片、多片等，主要是光路通过多个模片以及多个镜片进行多次折返。
根据潮电智库了解，在采用菲涅尔透镜作为光学方案的VR头显中，Meta Quest2的主机重量是503g，HTC Vive Focus3则趋近于800g，过于厚重的设备导致用户的佩戴舒适度与体验并不友好。
Apple’s first MR is nearing release, Pancake Solution providers are beginning to restless
As a revolutionary terminal product of Apple, a large number of new technology solutions will become popular along with its first MR intelligent head display called “RealityPro”.
Apple has announced that it will hold the 2023 World Developers Conference (WWDC) from June 6th to 10th Beijing time. Based on various sources of information, RealityPro will tear off its final mysterious veil and there is a high possibility of its release at the same time.
Chaodian Network learned from a supply chain list of suspected MR headsets that RealityPro adopts pancake optical solutions, accounting for about 5% of the total cost of the entire machine. This is basically consistent with the previous prediction of Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International.
In the field of consumer electronics, Apple is one of the few companies with defined product capabilities. If the above list information is true, the prospects for pancake optical applications will be fully opened. At present, the entire pancake industry has started a restless mode, ushering in various trends such as enterprise investment and financing, technology solution integration, project order bidding, and mold production.
It is very exaggerated that in the overall weak market environment of smartphones and TWS, it is rumored that Shenzhen Huaqiang North with box is fully prepared to enter XR and will only be launched after Apple’s official announcement.
The reason why the industry has always maintained a high interest in Apple’s first head display is because it can quickly promote the establishment of various standards. According to more specific news, pancake optical solutions are also commonly used in various high-end imitation products, with an average unit price predicted to be around 600 yuan.
Xiong Xu, the chairman of Ai Mu Innovation Company, which has been focusing on the XR field for nearly a decade, said that after the official release of Apple’s first MR, it is bound to cause a wave of following trends. At present, the viewing experience may become the first to become the biggest selling point of the product.
Aimu Innovation focuses on VR lightweight product experience, focusing on Pancake optical systems. It is currently one of the few companies in the industry that has Pancake optical technology and related product solutions, equipped with comprehensive upstream and downstream resources.
From the perspective of technical path analysis, the current XR optical solutions are mainly divided into two types.
One is vertical optics, which was originally an aspherical lens that served as a magnifying glass, such as a cordborst and VR box, including early VR all-in-one machines and other products, as well as Fresnel lenses used in HTC VIVE, PICO NEO3, and QUEST2; The second is folding optics, also known as pancake for short, which includes single, dual, and multiple lenses. The optical path is mainly folded back multiple times through multiple modules and lenses.
According to industry statistics, the proportion of new VR products equipped with Pancake solutions in 2022 is close to 60%, and companies such as Huawei, Skyworth, and Panasonic have already announced new generation Pancake products.
Driven by leading manufacturers such as Meta and Apple, Pancake optics will become the standard feature of VR. “Xiong Xu believes that compared to Fresnel lenses, Pancake’s optical path has undergone multiple twists and turns, which can make VR volume lighter and thinner. In theory, it is only half the size of the original, and the corresponding weight will also be lighter, which is convenient for extending users’ use of VR and improving product experience.
According to Xiong Xu, Aimu Innovation has a complete automated processing line for Pancake optical modules, and has broken through multiple production process difficulties in this field, greatly improving mass production capacity and efficiency, and taking the lead in achieving cost-effective mass production of multiple Pancake modules. This includes product solutions for giant screen 2D/3D viewing glasses, portable lightweight VR glasses, VR sleep, VR eye protectors, VR education, and more.
Chao Dian Think Tank learning from the VR industry chain that in addition to the viewing experience, the industry is also curious about the interactive methods of RealityPro.