Understanding the Role of Optics for Consumer Electronics in 2024

Author: Bryan Ng – Marketing Manager

Editor: Qu Yingli – R&D Director

Editor: Pradyumn – R&D Intern

Published on:

Last edited:

1. Introduction

Understanding the Role of Optics for Consumer Electronics in 2024 1

Consumer electronics have become an integral part of our daily lives, shaping people’s communication, work processes, and entertainment. Behind the sleek and compact designs of consumer electronics lies a world of cutting-edge technology, with optics playing a pivotal role.

2. Consumer Electronics Optics Applications

Optics is the branch of physics that deals with the behavior and properties of light. It is a fundamental part of many consumer electronics devices.

2.1 Camera

Drone Camera Application
Drone with Camera

Optics are instrumental in improving the cameras found in consumer electronics. From smartphone cameras, laptop cameras, drone cameras, to car cameras and webcams, advancements in optics have revolutionized photography and video recording.

Cameras use lenses to focus light onto an image sensor. The image sensor is then used to convert the light into an electrical signal, which is digitized and stored as an image.

High-quality lenses are essential for capturing sharp images where manufacturers are constantly improving lens materials and designs to reduce distortion, aberrations, and enhance image clarity.

Optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization mechanisms reduce the effects of hand tremors and vibrations, ensuring smoother and clearer photos and videos. There are many different types of lenses used in cameras, each with its own unique properties. Combining optics with sophisticated image processing algorithms enables features like HDR (High Dynamic Range), portrait mode, and night mode, allowing users to capture stunning photos in various conditions.

Phone Camera Application
Smartphone Camera

For example, wide-angle lenses have a wide field of view, making them ideal for landscape photography. Telephoto lenses have a narrow field of view, making them ideal for sports and wildlife photography.

2.2 Virtual and Augmented Reality

AR VR Application
AR/VR

Optics are the cornerstone of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences.VR headsets use lenses to create a three-dimensional image for the user to see, creating immersive environments. AR glasses overlay digital information onto the real world using optics to project images onto the wearer’s field of view. AR/VR lenses have a unique optical quality specially designed for near eye displays. The lens mimics the size, position and field of view of the human eye. Such lenses are known as near eye lenses. These technologies are becoming increasingly popular for gaming, education, training, and various professional applications.

2.3 Other Applications

  • Projectors use lenses to project images onto a screen.
  • Bar code scanners use lenses to focus light onto a bar code, which is then decoded by the scanner.
  • Robot sweepers use lenses for precise mapping, obstacle detection, and efficient cleaning.
  • LiDAR for autonomous vehicles uses ToF lenses to obtain real-time ranging and object depth information.

3. Our Optics for Consumer Electronics

Wavelength Opto-Electronic design and manufacture plastic or glass molded lenses for consumer electronics. We offer several standard surveillance camera lenses and ToF lenses, while the rest of our consumer electronics lenses are customized.

3.1 Surveillance Camera Lenses

Consumer Optics Surveillance Camera Lenses
Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Surveillance Camera Lens

Our surveillance camera lenses adopt a glass-plastic hybrid structure, which has excellent performance in achromatic aberration. Additionally, it has the characteristics of large FOV and uniform image consistency. It is widely used in drone cameras, smart homes, civil security, and other scenarios.

Part NoStructureFFLF/#FOVM-TTLSensor No
PG-SCL-1.45-2.43P1.452.489.6°(H) x 73.1°(V)8.51OV7740 1/5"
PG-SCL-1.56-1.51G4P1.561.5105°(H) x 85°(V)18.3OV7740 1/5"
PG-SCL-1.19-2.62G4P1.192.6110°(H) x 85°(V)9.01OV5640 1/4"

Table 1: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Surveillance Camera Lenses

3.2 ToF Lenses

Consumer Optics Time of Flight Lenses ToF Lenses
Wavelength Opto-Electronic ToF Lens

Time-of-Flight (ToF) Lenses, also known as 3D depth lenses, come with real-time ranging and are able to obtain object depth information. These products are applicable in consumer electronics such as smart home cameras, sweeping robots, AR/VR, drones, and LiDAR for autonomous vehicles. ToF Lenses use infrared light to determine depth information. The sensor emits a signal which reflects off the object and returns to the sensor. Based on the intensity and time taken for the reflected light to reach the sensor, depth mapping can be performed on the object. Compared to other 3D depth-mapping technologies, ToF technology is relatively cheap. The high rate of frames per second allows for real-time applications such as background blur in on-the-fly video.

Understanding the Role of Optics for Consumer Electronics in 2024 3
Figure 1: ToF Principle Diagram
Understanding the Role of Optics for Consumer Electronics in 2024 5
Figure 2 ToF Imaging Diagram

ToF is more accurate and provides substantial improvements over other imaging techniques.

Part No.E.F.L (mm)FFL (mm)FNOFOV (DxHxV) (mm)M-TTL (mm)MAX C.R.ASensor SizeScrew SizeApplication
PG-TOF-1.53-1.2-V11.5362.211.20142 x 123 x 929.829.4°1/5"M7.0*0.35850nm TOF
PG-TOF-1.53-1.2-V21.5362.601.20144 x 125 x 909.886.97°1/5"M7.0*0.35850nm TOF
PG-TOF-1.53-1.45-V21.5302.561.45127.8 x 104.8 x 828.2018.78°1/5"M6.0*0.35940nm TOF
PG-TOF-2.36-1.252.3642.701.25132.1 x 123x92.811.3415.41°1/3"M8.0*0.35850nm TOF
PG-TOF-1.44-1.41.4400.851.40125 x 104.8 x 82.55.2534.26°1/4.5"M6.0*0.25940nm TOF

Table 2: Wavelength Opto-Electronic ToF Lenses

3.2.1 LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles

Optics that are 905nm and 1550nm are suitable for autonomous driving applications.

Factors905nm1550nmExplanation
Water+Water absorbs 1550 nm waves approximately 145x more than 905 nm waves
Rain & Fog+Degradation of 1550 nm waves in rain & fog compared to normal conditions is 4-5x worse than the degradation for 905 nm waves
Snow+1550 nm waves have approximately 97% worse reflectance in snow compared to 905 nm waves
Power Consumption+In wet conditions, sensors using 1550 nm wavelength will need >10x more power vs. a similar 905 nm system
Range++In optimal conditions, both 905 and 1550 nm wavelengths can see many hundreds of meters.
Availability of Technology Components+Key components for 1550 nm are either custom-made or available only through non-standard supply chains and require exotic materials.
Table 3: 905nm and 1550nm Optics Suitability for Autonomous Driving

3.3 Near Eye Lens

Molded Optics - Near Eye Lens
Wavelength Opto-Electronic Near Eye Lens

Part Number: DJZ32-B01
FFL: 10.03
FOV: 48.8(H)x41.3(V)
Chip Type: IM 250 2/3″

Specifications 1: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Near Eye Lens

Near Eye Lens consists of multiple optical elements working with C-mount IMX250 2/3″ detector and imaging processing software at the AR/VR production line to achieve automatic inspection of MTF, distortion, FOV, field curvature, and relative illumination for the assembly device. We offer unique lenses to system integrators of AR/VR devices.

3.4 Other Samples

Available product types include pinhole lenses, scanning lenses, drone lenses, camera lenses, conical lenses, and so on.

Part NoStructureFFLF/#FOVM-TTLSensor NoApplication
PG-OL-1.8-3.24G1.803.270°(H) x 51°(V)10.42MT9V022 1/3"Pinhole Lens
PG-OL-3.25-6.55G3.256.540.63°(H) x 26.41°(V)11.601/3"Scan Lens
PG-OL-4.78-124P4.7812.042.4°(H) x 34.4°(V)11.88EV76C560 1/1.8"Bar Code
PG-OL-1.1-2.22P1.102.270°(H) x 56°(V)2.75OV7251 1/7.5"Drone Lens
PG-OL-6.68-2.88G6.682.8100°(H) x 76°(V)20.57IMX117 1/2.3"Camera
PG-OL-8.46-1.27G8.461.228°(H) x 16.8°(V)29.841/2"808nm
PG-OL-10.03-1.917G10.031.948.8°(H) x 41.3°(V)81.15IMX250 2/3"AR Imaging Detection

Table 4: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Other Molded Lenses

3.5 Molded Lenses Customization

With our state-of-the-art facilities, we can specifically design and provide comprehensive solutions for the specific needs of customers. We manufacture molded lenses for consumer electronics with either glass or plastic materials.

3.5.1 Molded Aspherical Lenses

Understanding the Role of Optics for Consumer Electronics in 2024 7
Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Aspheric Lenses
SpecificationsPrecisionUltra-precision
Diameter1-25mm1-20mm
Dia Tolerance±0.015mm±0.005mm
Thickness Tolerance±0.03mm±0.005mm
Irregularity (P-V)1µm0.6µm
Irregularity(RMS)0.3µm0.08-0.15µm
Centering Error1’
Surface Quality40-2020-10
CoatingCustomizableCustomizable
Table 5: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Aspheric Lenses Manufacturing Capabilities

3.5.2 Micro Aspherical Lenses

3.5.2.1 Mobile Phone Lenses
Mobile Phone & Medical Lenses
Molded Phone Camera Lenses

(1≤φ≤5)
OD Tolerance: ±0.003 mm
CT Tolerance: ±0.003 mm
Sag Height Tolerance: ±0.002 mm
Surface Accuracy: Rt ≤0.0006 mm, ΔRt ≤0.0003 mm
Centration Error: ≤ 0.003 mm

Specifications 2: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Phone Camera Lenses

3.5.2.2 Surveillance & DSC Lenses
Surveillance & DSC Lenses
Molded Surveillance & DSC Lenses

(5≤φ≤12)
OD Tolerance: ±0.003 mm
CT Tolerance: ±0.003 mm
Sag Height Tolerance: ±0.002 mm
Surface Accuracy: Rt ≤0.0015 mm, ΔRt ≤0.0005 mm
Centration Error: ≤ 0.005 mm

Specifications 3: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Surveillance & DSC Lenses

3.5.3 Large Aspherical Lenses

Large Aspherical Lenses
Molded Projector Lens

OD Tolerance: ±0.01 mm
CT Tolerance: ±0.005 mm
Sag Height Tolerance: ±0.005 mm
Surface Accuracy: Rt ≤0.005 mm, ΔRt ≤0.002 mm
Centration Error: ≤ 0.008 mm

Specifications 4: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Molded Projector Lens

The large aspherical lenses are applicable for products that require larger diameter lenses such as projectors.

3.5.4 Special-Shaped Aspherical Lenses

Special Shaped Aspherical Lenses
Freeform Aspheric Lenses

Dimensional Tolerance: ±0.01 mm
CT Tolerance: ±0.005 mm
Sag Height Tolerance: ±0.002
Surface Accuracy: Rt ≤0.003 mm, ΔRt ≤0.0008 mm

Specifications 5: Wavelength Opto-Electronic Special-Shaped Aspherical Lenses

The special-shaped lenses are applicable for automation signal control or AR/VR products.

4. Injection Molding Technology

Lens Molding
Wavelength Opto-Electronic Injection Molding Facility

Plastic, glass, and hybrid plastic-glass are the raw materials used to produce optical lenses with injection molding technology. Injection molding is defined simply as a process through which plastic/glass material is melted and injected into molds. The subsequent process includes the mold material being cooled to harden now it is ready to use with exact specifications for many different applications.

Understanding the Role of Optics for Consumer Electronics in 2024 9
Wavelength Opto-Electronic Micro Molded Lenses

A single tool is adequate for producing higher volumes with the necessary surface quality for each production run. The temperature and pressure are the key parameters that need to be kept in control during the whole process.

5. Conclusion

Optics is a driving force behind the constant evolution of consumer electronics. From stunning innovative camera technologies to immersive AR/VR experiences and security features, optics plays a pivotal role in enhancing the functionality and user experience of our devices. As optics technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative and exciting applications of optics in consumer electronics devices.

If you’re looking for a reliable optics supplier for consumer electronics, Wavelength Opto-Electronic design and manufacture molded lenses for these applications. With over a decade of experience in optics and fully equipped state-of-the-art facilities, you can fully count on our quality optics and our manufacturing capabilities.

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