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October 11, 2011

United States Air Force Awards Phase II SBIR Contract to SBG Labs, Inc. to Develop Eye Tracker for Curved Waveguide Avionics Helmet Systems

SUNNYVALE, CA — Oct. 11, 2011: SBG Labs announced the recent award of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract sponsored by the United State Air Force (USAF) Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. This contract focuses on developing a novel, compact and lightweight eye-tracking system for curved head-mounted displays (HMDs) in avionic helmet systems.

A vexing problem for our combat pilots is the small field of view (FOV) afforded by existing HMDs, limited essentially by whatever head mobility will permit. DigiLens has developed an elegant game-changing solution to this challenging problem by successfully designing a compact, lightweight eye-tracking system using their proprietary Switchable Bragg Grating (SBG) technology to replace bulky, heavy refractive optics. This eye tracking system is compatible with their innovative wide FOV HMD technology.

Phase I demonstrated proof of concept for an infrared system, while reducing the required number of SBG layers from 4 to 1 in the final design, cleverly combining both illumination and imaging paths in the same substrate. Phase II will focus on expanding the system’s FOV, improving safety by migrating from glass to plastic substrates, and demonstrating compatibility with DigiLens’ revolutionary curved waveguide HMD.

SBG Labs project leader Dr. Jonathan Waldern commented, “The Air Force has expressed confidence in our design and proof of concept demonstration for this novel eye-tracking system. Encouraged by the positive Phase I results we look forward to delivering a successful prototype that satisfies their demanding requirements for compactness, safety and durability.”

About SBG Labs, Inc.
Located in Silicon Valley, CA, SBG Labs is the leading optical technology company that has developed a revolutionary electrically switchable holographic device called “Switchable Bragg Gratings,” hence the name SBG Labs. The electro-holographic optical technology merges breakthroughs in nano-material science and optical software processing by recording holographic optics into nano-composite electro-optical material, allowing this technology to be used in many everyday products and applications.

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