Osterhout Design Group (ODG) out of California has paved the way for
wearable technology in America. Recently ODG has developed the
world’s most advanced head worn computing system: augmented reality
smart glasses. The wearable device involves an array of PCB and
electronics with multiple antennas which were initially sealed into a
Thermal testing of the device revealed high temperature issues on the internal components and the exterior surfaces that touch the body. ODG had initially designed a small heat sink for the CPU but its effectiveness in solving thermal issues was unclear.
The challenges of creating a safe and comfortable exterior temperature, facilitating signals to the antennas, and keeping the inside devices cool were presented to the team of Aavid, Thermal division of Boyd Corporation. Within a stipulated time, we were to predict and improve the thermal performance of the glasses in a natural convection environment with plastic casing material over the antenna area.
Aavid created a CFD model of the existing device and fine-tuned the
model parameters to match thermal testing data that was provided. The
top aluminum spreader was modified to enhance radiative and
convective heat transfer by increasing its effective surface area. Next
the conductive heat transfer throughout the device was optimized to
reduce temperature gradients between the hot spots and exterior
surfaces. Strategically placed graphite sheets were added to spread the
heat while insulating material was used to isolate heat from surfaces
that will be in contact with the skin of the user.
To improve the aesthetics of the device, the aluminum spreader was mounted to the PCB suing bosses and numerous locations. The PCB itself was used as a part of the thermal system which enhanced performance. Additionally, the gap between aluminum spreader and critical devices on the PCB were filled using thermal interface material.
The baseline simulation results closely met the prototypes thermal test data. The top aluminum spreader was effective in removing heat from the systems. There was significant improvement to the aesthetics and usability by introducing other conductive and insulating materials such as pourable thermal interface material, graphite, foam, and the PCB itself.
To read more about this revolutionary technology, visit www.osterhoutgroup.com