Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of answers to answer for common questions.
- What does LetinAR do?
LetinAR is a startup which develops optical solutions for Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses, which plays the same role as smartphone displays. With LetinAR PinMR™ lens, smart glasses manufacturers can build smart glasses worn like a pair of conventional glasses. The optical system consists of LetinAR’s self-developed “Pin Mirror (“PinMR™”) lens” and a microdisplay made by external partners.
- Background of development
Current smart glasses manufacturers use traditional optical systems such as Half-mirror, Diffractive Optical Elements (DOEs), and waveguides to build the devices. However, the under-par performance of those optical systems has hardly satisfied users and experts. The bulky body, narrow Field of View (FoV), complicated manufacturing process, and inaccurate color expression have long been a stumbling block for successful commercialization of AR smart glasses.
LetinAR’s PinMR™ lens is set to replace such displays, and innovate AR smart glasses.
- How does PinMR™ work?
LetinAR has applied the so-called “Pinhole Effect” to tiny mirrors and embedded them with eyeglass lenses. Respective PinMR™ reflects the light from a microdisplay and guides the light into human pupils. Users may view the virtual image from the microdisplay as well as the image from the real world at ease. Human eyes cannot detect the mirrors, which are smaller than the pupils. Only the virtual image formed by the light reflected by those mirrors is visible.
- Advantages of using PinMR™
With LetinAR PinMR™ Lens, smart glasses manufacturers can build smart glasses that resemble conventional glasses. The simple structure of PinMR™ Lens module can facilitate mass production. PinMR™ Lens shows wider virtual screen than the currently available optical systems while more accurately expressing colors – an edge over diffraction-based or refraction-based systems from competitors. PinMR™ Lens can also show a clear image without inducing dizziness because it is able to extend the Depth of Field (DoF) multiple times. LetinAR aims to break down the technical barriers that have long hindered the commercialization of AR glasses, with its trademarked PinMR™.
- Business Model of LetinAR
LetinAR designs, manufactures, and supplies PinMR™ by on-demand basis. LetinAR plans to supply PinMR™ Lens as a complete module, which consists of PinMR™ lens and a microdisplay from external partners.
- Supply Plan of PinMR™ Lens
LetinAR plans to supply PinMR™ Lens as a complete module, which consists of PinMR™ lens and a microdisplay from external partners. LetinAR will begin providing PinMR™ Lens samples in 2019, making it possible for smart glasses manufacturers to evaluate the potential of using PinMR™ lens for their own products.
- Funding Status of LetinAR
Based in Seoul, South Korea, LetinAR was founded in October 2016. It has raised $700,000 seed money from Naver, the biggest portal site and search engine operator in South Korea. LetinAR went on to receive $5.4 million in Series A funding from another internet giant – Kakao Ventures, KB Investment, Naver as a follow-up, and three other Korean VCs.
“Two biggest Korean internet companies investing a single hardware startup is very unusual. We are thrilled to help LetinAR bring their innovative product to market,” said Gi-Joon Kim, partner of Kakao Ventures.
- Patents of LetinAR
Multiple patents are registered. Our patents cover from PinMR™ itself to the manufacturing method of PinMR™ Lens.
- Vision of LetinAR as a startup in AR Industry
There have been two visual revolutions in history. The first revolution took place in the 12th century with the birth of eyeglasses, which enabled people with poor vision to see the world more clearly. The second revolution happened in the 17th century with the invention of telescopes and microscopes. Telescopes and microscopes made it possible for humans to see things which they never could before.
LetinAR believes the third revolution imminent – in the next three to five years. The way humans see virtual images, as well as the real world, will be revolutionized. LetinAR wishes to propel the third visual revolution with its partners.
- Questions about Displays
LetinAR PinMR™ optical system consists of LetinAR’s self-developed PinMR™ lens and a microdisplay made by external partners. LetinAR plans to supply PinMR™ optical system as a complete module.
Most microdisplay types such as TFT LCD, OLED, μLED, LCoS, DLP can be used. Traditional systems tend to use displays with high brightness such as LCoS, DLP due to its low light efficiency. However, PinMR™ technology can be equipped with OLED thanks to its high light efficiency.
LetinAR has used displays from multiple vendors without being dependent on them. Technical specifications of display such as resolution, refresh rate, frame rate, brightness, interface depend on the microdisplay used.
- Questions about Lens
Prescription: There are multiple ways to add prescription in the lens. LetinAR PinMR™ Lens itself can have a diopter or independent prescription lens can be added. However, the way how to supply the prescription lens will be decided later, as it is the issue of business.
Products: LetinAR develops/manufactures/provides lens based on the demand from customers. Thus, products will be developed based on customer needs.
Layout: The size, layout, number of PinMR™s are decided based on the customer needs. Customer may require wanted light efficiency, transparency, and etc. Adjusting the layout is the know-how we have.
Shape: PinMR™ Lens can be made in any shape if there is enough space to build an optical path.