Lumus’ Light-guide Optical Element: The Ideal Wearable Tech for the Eyes?

By Loic Le Meur (Flickr: Loic Le Meur on Google Glass) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Loic Le Meur (Flickr: Loic Le Meur on Google Glass) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Wearable technology continues to progress but it’s still not as popular and well-received as smartphones and mobile computers. Wearable tech products continue to be seemingly set aside for further development and later adoption. Well, things may start changing as Light-guide Optical Element (LOE) tech from Lumus gets commercialized or integrated in wearable computing devices intended for the eyes.

So what is this technology? Does it have what it takes to beat the pioneering Google Glass? Know the answers to these questions and more in the following series of questions and answers.

What is Lumus?

Lumus is a company that focuses on products that provide a new dimension for the human visual experience. It offers cutting-edge eyewear displays that can be used in various applications including gaming, movie watching, text reading, web browsing, and interaction with the interface of wearable computers. Lumus does not aim to produce self-branded products. Instead, the company wants to work with various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to enable the wider use of its technologies.

What is Light-guide Optical Element (LOE)?

Light-guide Optical Element or LOE is the unique Lumus technology created to make wearable computer eyewear more natural-looking and lightweight. It is a super-thin see-through display technology capable of showing large, high quality images.  it is similar to what Google Glass does in terms of visual projection but somewhat better.

How is LOE from Lumus better than the Google Glass display tech?

A number of features make the LOE tech from Lumus better than the display tech used in Google Glass. These include the following:

  • Higher resolution – Lumus demoed the latest version of their product early this year. It is capable of displaying images and videos at 720p, a resolution higher than what Google Glass offers.

  • Potential for even higher resolution – Since LOE makes use of a special lens that can be overlaid on typical eyeglasses or used to replace the lenses of typical eyeglasses, higher resolutions can be achieved without the need to change the lenses. Google’s fixed-size display is limited to its current size.

  • Designed for distance viewing – With LOE, users can have a better viewing experience as they don’t have to focus on a single side of their glasses to view images. LOE tech is designed for a natural and more comfortable use. Viewing images in it is like viewing a large screen display from a distance. It simulates the usual way people see things through eyeglasses.

  • Binocular display – LOE can display images on both lenses of eyeglasses. Again, this supports the natural way human see things. Some adjustments may be needed to properly align the images being displayed but it shouldn’t be more difficult than aligning the objects you see through binocular telescopes.

  • 3D Imagery – Because of LOE’s binocular display capability, 3D images are possible.

  • Gesture control – Another great feature of LOE is its ability to support gesture interaction. With it, you can simply swipe away pages or notifications. It’s like the in-the-eye implementation of the high-tech interactive floating screens depicted in science fiction movies. Users get to interact with the screens floating in front of them. This may make wearers look awkward to others but it’s definitely a great advancement in wearable technology.

  • Disruption-free viewing – LOE uses a see-through lens that appears completely clear when there are no images displayed. Unlike the one used with Google Glass, there is still that glossy small piece of glass that partially blocks the sight even when nothing is shown.

    By Antonio Zugaldia ( [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

    By Antonio Zugaldia ( [GFDL ( or CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

What are the features of the latest version of this tech?

The latest version of the LOE tech comes with a camera, 720p display capability, the ability to display 3D images, and the same comfortable viewing and lightweight convenience the older version showcased. It has everything that the different advantages mentioned above are referring to.

When is the tech coming to the market?

Lumus will not be marketing wearable computing devices that will carry the Lumus brand name. Instead, the company will be working with various companies to employ their technology. So far, the wearables company Meta and Sony (for their smart glass) are some of the few companies confirmed to be using the LOE tech in their upcoming products.

How much will the tech cost?

The price of the final product will depend on the companies that will use the LOE tech so it’s not possible to come up with fixed figures. Prices will vary, depending on what various manufacturers will set.

Is Lumus or the product it offers genuine? This tech seems more advanced than what the moneyed leaders in eyewear display tech have come up with. What is Lumus’ track record?

Yes, Lumus is a real company and it claims to own more than 50% of the military heads up display market at present. In fact, Lumus rep Ari Grobman claims that the LOE tech is even capable many other possibilities – and people are just not ready for them at the moment.

By Sgt. Mark Fayloga [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Sgt. Mark Fayloga [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wearable tech is not yet that warmly accepted by most consumers. We still can’t see as many smartwatch-wearing people as those who regularly carry their smartphones. With the kind of wearable display technology Lumus is offering, however, it may not be too far before people believe that the future is here and now.

It is difficult to document the viewing experience with the LOE tech from Lumus since you can’t really force a camera to see what you can see right before your eyes, in between your eyeballs and your glasses. That’s why you can’t find YouTube videos that can showcase the experience. If you ever get the chance to visit one of Lumus’ product demonstrations, be sure to try their products and be fascinated by how much display technology has vastly improved over the years.