DigiLens, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup growing presentations for augmented fact (AR) gadgets, lately introduced that it’s closed a $50 million oversubscribed sequence C spherical led by means of Common Show Company’s UDC Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Pokémon Pass writer Niantic, Continental AG, Sony Innovation Fund, and Mitsubishi’s Diamond Edge Ventures. It greater than doubled the Sunnyvale, California-based corporate’s earlier $22 million elevate in January 2017, and it brings DigiLens’ mission capital haul so far to over $100 million.
CEO Chris Pickett stated the contemporary capital will gas the improvement of its reveal era for automotive, undertaking, client, avionics and armed forces manufacturers. “Those partnerships give you the ecosystem that allows our era to enter various other [displays] in various other shape components,” he added.
DigiLens’ premiere product is a holographic waveguide reveal containing a thin-film, laser-etched photopolymer embedded with microscopic holograms of mirror-like optics. A micro-display is projected into one finish of the lens and the optics flip the sunshine wave, guiding it during the floor earlier than some other set of optics flip it again towards the attention.
DigiLens delicate this method just about ten years in the past, it says, when it was once taking part with Rockwell Collins to create avionic HUD programs for the U.S. army. Extra lately, the corporate devised a photopolymer subject matter and holographic reproduction procedure that allows it to supply diffractive optics with printers, which have a tendency to be less expensive than conventional precision-etching machines.
“UDC Ventures and Samsung Ventures have identified thru this funding that DigiLens is the frontrunner in waveguide era and the one waveguide that may get to a client value level thru its proprietary photopolymer, design device, and leading edge production procedure,” stated Pickett.
In January, DigiLens demonstrated its Crystal AR prototype, a glasses-like shape issue that connects by the use of a USB-C to a smartphone, computing puck, pc, or desktop. It weighs in at part a pound and makes use of two layers for the full-color waveguide, which gives a slightly slender 30-degree box of view however is dramatically less expensive than standard fabrics. If truth be told, DigiLens believes merchandise like Crystal AR may just in the future promote for $500, or more or less 5 to 10 instances not up to rival heads-up presentations available on the market just like the Magic Jump One Writer Version or Microsoft HoloLens.
DigiLens’ white label answer for automobile corporations, in the meantime, can create a holographic waveguide that’s a couple of part a meter by means of 320 millimeters lengthy, or big enough for a automobile windshield however compact sufficient to suit underneath a dashboard. The corporate says that such presentations may just generate coloured arrows to inform drivers the place to show subsequent, in order that they don’t have to take a look at their telephones.
DigiLens doesn’t intend to fabricate and promote AR gadgets itself. As an alternative, it intends to license its era throughout a spread of industries. Towards that finish, it’s already developing nanomaterials for clear, augmented fact (AR) presentations for a number of undisclosed purchasers.
DigiLens has festival in TruLife Optics, WaveOptics, and Colorado-based Akonia Holographics, the latter of which spent a decade (and $100 million) unsuccessfully pursuing holographic garage earlier than pivoting to presentations. For its section, WaveOptics raised $26 million remaining December to tools up for the release of its cheap AR product lineup.
However Pickett anticipates that merchandise incorporating DigiLens’ era will beat maximum — if no longer all — others to marketplace. It’s focused on past due 2019, with further launches anticipated in 2020 and 2022.
“We’re excited to spouse with DigiLens as they proceed to concentrate on enabling various prime enlargement markets with their patented holographic waveguide presentations,” stated Common Show Company president and CEO Steven V. Abramson, who will change into a board consultant as a part of the funding. “With parallels to our personal trade, we stay up for operating in combination to convey best-in-class answers to a couple of industries and to collaborate on the way forward for OLED era throughout the augmented and digital fact reveal sector.”
DigiLens says it’s lately operating with authorized waveguide producer Younger Optics of Taiwan; ODM and electronics provider Malata of China; and pico reveal producer Sekonix of Korea, whose modules leverage Texas Tools DLP Pico merchandise. Via a strategic partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical, it’s growing a plastic subject matter for “prime refractive” waveguide presentations that it expects can be lighter, more economical, and “just about unbreakable.”
“We’re construction our infrastructure, so we will input a couple of markets on the identical time,” Pickett informed VentureBeat in a prior interview.