Available Technologies: Manufacturing

Variable tinting for Augmented Reality glasses

Electrochromic coatings that vary the transmissivity of backlight to increase the contrast of augmented display elements creating AR glasses for indoor and outdoor use

Benefitsvraibale tinting for AR glasses

  • electrochromic polymers:
    • are organic, flexible, light weight and inexpensive
    • can be switched or transitioned using low voltage and low current
    • can be mass produced and readily available because the coating process has parallels with OLED technology.
  • allows Augmented Reality (AR) users to transition easily between inside and outside environments.


The demand for thin film conductive materials has grown exponentially. The availability and applicability of traditional metallic and ceramic materials, however, is limited.

For example, existing technology used in electrochromic ceramic windows is slow to switch, and requires continuous power to maintain a dark state. Liquid crystal is not flexible, needs higher voltages (60V), and polarizes incoming light making it incompatible with LCD displays.


A unique polymerisation technique has been developed for thin films using conducting polymers.

One well-known example is poly (3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene), or PEDOT, an air-stable material which readily delivers conductivity over 2000 S/cm (i.e. 30Ω/□), with transparency typically in excess of 80%.

UniSA’s Generation 3 coating:

  • realises high performance conducting polymers via a scalable fabrication process.
  • allows transparency switching up to 50% in a range of transition colours (blue, yellow, and sepia).
  • requires only a low current from a 1.5V battery to shift between states, with no ongoing power requirements after transition.

This technology is ideal for Augmented Reality (AR) headsets required for indoor and outdoor usage. The technology can be further developed to occlude background light, by pixilation, behind virtual images.

IP Status

The intellectual property associated with this technology is patent protected.

Partnering opportunities

UniSA Ventures is targeting manufacturers of AR headsets to use the technology and to develop greater speed, transparency, and pixilation.


The team of researchers at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute that have spear-headed this development, include:

Commercial lead