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DigiLens gains funding of $50M to develop affordable augmented reality

DigiLens Inc., a manufacturer of holographic waveguide technology for AR devices, recently made an announcement regarding its latest funding round of $50 million.

AR devices and smart glasses utilise transparent-type displays as users need to look through them. Computer generated graphics are projected into the real world and within the field-of-vision of viewers. DigiLens is responsible for producing the photopolymers and other contents required to manufacture augmented reality products, apart from smart glasses and design references.

DigiLens has plans to use its Series C funding round to branch out its display development into sectors like enterprise, avionics, consumer, automotive and military applications. Some of its new investment partners for this round include Samsung Venture Investment Corp. and UDC Ventures, a subsidiary of the Universal Display Corporation. Other notable investors include Continental AG, Diamond Edge Ventures, Sony Innovation Fund, and Niantic Inc.

Chris Pickett, Chief Executive of DigiLens, spoke regarding the new partnerships of the company. He stated that the new associations built by the firm create an ecosystem where its technology can be used across multiple use-cases, in different display market segments.

Augmented reality enables smart glasses to be used for a great number of applications. These include fast information delivery to field workers, facilitating visually projected navigations for drivers, and much more. On another end of the spectrum, there are companies like Upskill and Scope AR that enable workers to achieve connections to remote experts, especially in industrial scenarios.

DigiLens glasses can help you navigate your car. Image Credit: DigiLens

Brands such as WayRay SA and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have delved into the concept of automotive industry AR tools, that are capable of projecting graphics onto vehicle windshields to help with navigation while keeping drivers focused.

DigiLens launched the prototypes for the DigiLens Crystal AR smart glasses in January this year.  This prototype is built using the company’s photopolymer technology that is in line with current augmented reality standards. Crystal utilises the patented technology from DigiLens to drive down AR glasses prices. It utilises a USB Type-C power supply which is also used by the latest smartphones in the market. Untinted glass and more powerful light emitters are also used to facilitate the use of the glasses in brightly lit settings.

DigiLens’ holographic technology helps to augment the world. Image Credit: DigiLens

DigiLens is looking forward to seeing products with this technology retail in the below $499 price range, on the basis of its more affordable and easier manufacturing technology.

Pickett stated that his company has set the benchmark for very lightweight indoor and outdoor smart glasses for mobile gamers and industrial workers. He explained that device tethering with the glasses has enabled the company to reduce the difficulties in the development of complex AR applications.

Display manufacturer Young Optics Inc. was among the very first organisations to receive licensing from the technology offered by DigiLens. The company has recently started selling its own manufactured products, that are built on the DigiLens Crystal 25 AR smart glasses reference design. The reference is similar to the Microsoft’s HoloLens technology.

With this investment round, the total funding raised by DigiLens has reached $110 million.



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