A spotlight on XPANCEO: a MicroLED Industry Association member

We're happy to interview Valentyn S. Volkov, PhD, co-founder and Scientific Partner at XPANCEO, as part of our series of interviews with MicroLED Industry Association members. Dubai-based XPANCEO develops eXtended Computing (XC) contact lenses, a next generation computing category - based on microLED microdisplays.

Valentyn S. Volkov, PhD, co-founder and Scientific Partner at XPANCEO, is an internationally renowned expert in the field of nanophotonics and advanced materials, with 20 years of experience at leading universities and research centers.

Q: Can you introduce your company and technology?

XPANCEO is a deep tech company specializing in advanced technology, working to evolve the next generation of computing through the development of an imperceptible and weightless smart contact lens that seamlessly integrates with the wearer's natural vision. This innovative lens revolutionizes the entire concept of human-technology interaction, reshaping the way individuals engage with both the physical and digital realms, encompassing social media, content consumption, and gaming. By consolidating all personal devices into a single entity, the lens metamorphoses daily activities into an expansive Extended Reality (XR) encounter, featuring sophisticated real-time health monitoring, comprehensive practical suggestions, capabilities such as night vision and zoom, and state-of-the-art privacy and security protocols.


Q: Can you say why you joined the microLED association and what it is you hope to achieve?

XPANCEO has joined the MicroLED Industry Association to leverage the collective expertise of companies in the display manufacturing supply chain, many of whom are focused on XR devices, similar to the ones we work on at XPANCEO. Our goal is to stay at the forefront of industry developments and provide direct feedback to market leaders.

By joining this association, we aim to accelerate the development of these critical components by working directly with industry experts and staying informed about the latest advancements.

Q: What is your biggest challenge, and success to date in the microLED industry?

The primary obstacle encountered within the microLED industry pertains to identifying an optimal solution that aligns with our criteria for compact, thin, and highdensity displays. The challenge lies in creating a display that can be 
accommodated within the confined space of a smart contact lens, while upholding superior resolution and efficiency, thus presenting a particularly arduous task.

Our most notable achievement thus far has been the successful development of a collimation system with a total thickness of a few hundred micrometers, enabling the placement of a display directly onto the human eye. This milestone has significantly advanced our progress toward the realization of our vision of next-generation smart contact lenses that combine cutting-edge microLED technology with unparalleled compactness.

Q: Can you detail your latest prototype/demonstration?

We are currently engaged in the development of prototypes for various components of our smart contact lens, including biosensors and power systems. A significant portion of our research efforts is directed toward implementing the functionality of image display into the smart contact lens which necessitates the utilization of an advanced display system. 

At present, we are in the process of creating a prototype that incorporates a microdisplay within the contact lens, alongside an ultracompact collimation system utilizing cutting-edge optical materials. This innovative approach enables the direct projection of images onto the retina of the human eye. The design has resulted in a substantial reduction in overall dimensions compared to previous iterations, facilitating the integration of the system into both soft and scleral contact lenses. This advancement represents a significant milestone in our journey toward the realization of a fully operational smart contact lens with seamless image display capabilities.

Q: How do you see microLEDs changing the display industry in the next 5-10 years?

We strongly believe that microdisplays will undergo further miniaturization and will be utilized in compact optoelectronic devices. In the forthcoming 5-10 years, we anticipate that microLED technology to have a transformative impact on the display industry by offering enhanced resolution and increased energy efficiency. This 
advancement is poised to facilitate the emergence of sophisticated wearable devices such as smart contact lenses.

Additionally, we are confident that the enhancement of microLEDs' durability and longevity will pave the way for their further integration into a diverse range of novel products, including medical devices and automotive displays. This progress will enable the development of innovative form factors in various applications.

Thank you Valentyn, and good luck to both you and XPANCEO!

Posted: Jul 04,2024 by Ron Mertens