MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT: Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ:KOPN) (“Kopin”) today kicked off the era of Seamless Virtual Reality. On stage at Augmented World Expo, the Company showcased a groundbreaking reference design, codenamed Elf VR, for a new Head-Mounted Display created with its partner Goertek Inc. (“Goertek”), the world leader in VR headset manufacturing.
When brought to market, the new design will eliminate the barriers that have long stood in the way of delivering an effective VR experience. In fact, traditional attempts at VR headsets have been uncomfortably bulky and heavy, while low resolution and sluggish framerates caused screen door effect and nausea, making them usable for only tens of minutes at a time at best.
Kopin’s Lightning Display – A new approach to VR
To resolve these issues, Kopin’s engineers utilized its three decades of display experience to create “LightningTM” OLED microdisplay panel, putting an end to the dreaded screen-door effect, with 2048 x 2048 resolution in each eye, more than three times the resolution of Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, and at an unbelievable pixel density of 2,940 pixels per inch, five times more than standard displays.
Kopin first showcased its Lightning display at CES 2017, to overwhelming acclaim and a coveted CES Innovation Award. PC Magazine wrote that “the most advanced display I saw came from Kopin” and Anandtech said “Seeing is believing…I quite literally could not see anything resembling aliasing on the display even with a 10x loupe to try and look more closely.”
In addition, the panel runs at 120Hz refresh rate, 33% faster than what traditional HMDs offer – for reduced motion blur, latency and flicker. As a result, nausea and fatigue are eliminated. Because Kopin’s panel is OLED-based and has integrated driver circuits, it requires much less power, battery life can be extended, and heat output is substantially reduced.
“It is now time for us to move beyond our conventional expectation of what virtual reality can be and strive for more,” explained Kopin founder and CEO John Fan. “Great progress has been made this year, although challenges remain. This reference design, created with our partner Goertek, is a significant achievement. It is much lighter and fully 40% smaller than standard solutions, so that it can be worn for long periods without discomfort. At the same time, our OLED microdisplay panel achieves such high resolution and frame rate that it delivers a VR experience that truly approaches reality for markets including gaming, pro applications or film.”
In addition to the game-changing new design, Kopin previously announced an alliance with BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd. (BOE) and Yunan OLiGHTEK Opto-Electronic Technology Co.,Ltd. for OLED display manufacturing. As part of that alliance, all parties will contribute up to an aggregate $150 million to establish a high-volume, state of the art facility to manufacture OLED micro-displays to support the growing AR and VR markets. The new facility, which would be the world’s largest OLED-on-silicon manufacturing center, will be managed by BOE and is expected to be built in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China over the next two years. BOE is the world leader in display panels for mobile phone and tablets.
- Elf VR is equipped with Kopin “Lightning” OLED microdisplay panels, which feature 2048 x 2048 resolution of each panel, to provide binocular 4K image resolution at 120Hz refresh rate. Combined with both 4K Ultra-High image resolution and 120Hz refresh-rate, Elf VR provides very smooth images with excellent quality, and effectively reduces the sense of vertigo.
- The Microdisplay panels are manufactured with advanced ultra-precise processing techniques. Its pixel density was increased by approximately 400% compared to the conventional TFT-LCD, OLED and AMOLED display, and the screen size can be reduced to approximately 1/5 at similar pixel resolution level.
- Elf VR also adopts an advanced optical solution with a compact Multi-Lens design, which enabled it to reduce the thickness of its optical module by around 60%, and to reduce the total weight of VR HMD by around 50% as well, which can significantly improve the user experiences for longtime wearing.
- The reference design supports two novel optics solutions – 70 degrees FOV for film-like beauty or 100 degrees FOV for deep immersion.
Statements in this press release may be considered “forward-looking” statements under the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include, without limitation, statements relating to our expectation when brought to market, the new design will finally eliminate the barriers that have long stood in the way of delivering an effective VR experience; Kopin has entered into an alliance with BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd. (BOE) and OLiGHTEK under which the parties will contribute up to an aggregate $150 million to establish a high-volume, state of the art facility to manufacture OLED micro-displays to support the growing AR and VR markets; and the new facility, which would be the world’s largest OLED-on-silicon manufacturing center, will be managed by BOE and is expected to be built in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China over the next two years. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the parties may not be able to contribute the $150 million; government intervention may delay or prevent the parties from contributing some or all of the $150 million; government intervention may delay or prevent the facility from being built; development, production or other issues may prevent the technology from coming to market; the new design may not work or may not be able to be produced in a cost effective manner; the agreements with Goertek, BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd. and OLiGHTEK may be terminated; the new facility may not be the world’s largest OLED-on-Silicon facility if completed; the facility may not be built in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China; if completed it may take more than two years to complete the facility; AR and VR markets may not grow; there may not be demand for our products; we may not be able to provide significant quantities of our consumer OLED displays; there may be issues with obtaining permits, materials and other issues which may prevent the building of the facility; the wearable market may not grow fast; it may take longer than the Company estimates to develop products; the Company’s products may not be accepted by the market place; there may be issues that prevent the adoption or further development of the Company’s wearable computing technologies; manufacturing, marketing or other issues may prevent either the adoption or acceptance of products; the Company might be adversely affected by competitive products and pricing; new product initiatives and other research and development efforts may be unsuccessful; the Company could experience the loss of significant customers; costs to produce the Company’s products might increase significantly, or yields could decline; the Company’s customers might be unable to ramp production volumes of their products, manufacturing delays, technical issues, economic conditions or external factors may prevent the Company from achieving its goals; and other risk factors and cautionary statements listed in the Company’s periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the 12 months ended December 31, 2016, and the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which are based only on information currently available to the Company and only as of the date on which they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.