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31 January 2017

IR component maker Osram Opto targeting VR and AR markets growing at 181% CAGR from $5.2bn in 2016 to $162bn in 2020

Global revenue for the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets (including hardware, software, and services) will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 181% from $5.2bn in 2016 to $162bn in 2020, according to market research firm IDC's 'Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide', with Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg, Germany in particular looking to work with partners to drive forward the rapidly growing markets.

Initially driven by the gaming industry, virtual reality is expected to serve a wide range of industrial applications, for example healthcare, construction, real estate and urban planning as well as the automotive sector. Augmented reality has already risen considerably in industries as well, and last year entered the consumer market with Pokemon Go.

Both virtual reality and augmented reality employ various optoelectronic systems including infrared emitters, proximity sensors, 3D sensors, eye tracking or projection units. Covering the entire product range required – ranging from both visible and infrared diodes, lasers to photodetectors and integrated sensor modules – Osram Opto Semiconductors reckons that it is well positioned in this field, making it a suitable partner for manufacturers driving VR and AR technologies.

"VR and AR systems can be served partly with standard products like photodiodes or high-power infrared emitters," says Bianka Schnabel, expert for infrared solutions and VR/AR application at Osram Opto. "Other applications, such as 3D sensing for gesture recognition or point sources for VR headsets, require special solutions," she adds.

Osram Opto's product portfolio for VR and AR applications includes LEDs, proximity sensors, photodiodes and lasers, e.g.

  • Proximity sensors are used, for example, inside VR headsets to determine whether the headset is being worn and can automatically turn it on or off.
  • IR diodes are vital in headsets and controllers, providing infrared light illumination and enabling a connected camera to observe user movements.
  • Photodiodes are also used in both headsets and controllers, registering the light emitted by the IR diodes flooding the play area.
  • IR lasers are used as part of the infrared illumination units, scanning and determining the play area.

Osram Opto has developed an 850nm-wavelength laser diode specifically for time-of-flight cameras and structured light applications. The laser diode is available in both multi-mode and single-mode versions and is used for 3D sensors in VR and AR systems.

Specially developed LEDs for near-to-eye projection use, such as the Osram Ostar Projection product family, provide two-channel projection with green as well as red and blue light combined in one package, yielding a very small light engine design.

As part of the portfolio in the mobile device market, Osram Opto also offers a variety of LEDs suitable for different types of applications and designs including backlighting as well as sensors for bio-monitoring and biometric identification methods.

"Our four decades of experience as the leading supplier of optoelectronic components and our proven record on both consumer and industrial markets make us the perfect partner to further develop technologies in VR and AR," believes Schnabel. "We've been at the forefront of these technologies and are excited to be part of moving the market forward, expanding further into gaming and industrial markets."

Tags: Osram

Visit: www.osram-os.com

Visit: www.idc.com/tracker/showproductinfo.jsp?prod_id=1381

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