DigiLens Deepens Partnership With Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation To Accelerate The Distribution Of Plastic Waveguides Across The XR Ecosystem

Powerful collaboration will deliver high performance XR glasses to market in a form factor, cost and scale for everyday use

Sunnyvale, CA, July 15, 2021.  DigiLens Inc., an innovator in holographic waveguide display technology for extended reality (XR), today announced a deepening partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation(“MCC”) – global leader in the chemical industry – to bring to market the first-ever plastic waveguides for XR glasses at a performance, cost, and scale for consumer and enterprise use.  “Because DigiLens uses its proprietary photopolymer and holographic contact copy manufacturing process, DigiLens’ technology is the only approach that will be able to make a working waveguide display using plastic waveguide substrates,” said Patrick Suel, president of Diamond Edge Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation. “I’m pleased to see that because of our investments in DigiLens and the collaboration with MCC we’ve helped create the only plastic waveguide technology provider without the need for nanoimprint lithography (NIL imprinting). This now provides smartglasses OEMs a scalable plastic solution available through DigiLens’ licensed production partners.”

Together, DigiLens and the MCC team have created plastic waveguides that perform at nearly the same level as glass while drastically reducing the weight and long-term manufacturing cost. Other benefits include increased user safety, with the lens being so close to the eye. This partnership is allowing DigiLens’ licensees to ship high quality waveguides and integrated XR hardware solutions at a cost-effective consumer price point and will push the ecosystem one step closer to delivering high performance XR glasses in a lightweight form factor.

“DigiLens’ vision is to allow people to perceive the world in a way that brings them material and personal value through new experiences,“ said Chris Pickett, CEO of DigiLens.  “Rather than trying to be the XR product you buy, we are instead looking to be in every XR product or experience you buy by licensing our technology and future improvements to qualified suppliers or to OEMs for direct incorporation into their own products. Plastic sells and, with a powerhouse like MCC on board, it allows us to deliver the very best, most affordable, safest and lightest waveguides on the market today.”

“We’re democratizing the accessibility of our state-of-the-art optical solutions so the industry can reach a viable pair of consumer XR glasses within the next couple years, and we’re doing it in a way that everyone up the value chain can benefit,” continued Pickett.

Weight and thickness comparison between
glass and plastic waveguides

“Plastic is an essential element for everyday life, and so critical to the ultimate success of waveguides and therefore XR glasses,” said Johei Takimoto, Managing Executive Officer of MCC. “As the leading material supplier for the global display market with a broad expertise in materials technology, MCC is excited to help make this plastic concept become reality – combining knowledge in molecular design, polymer formulation, and coating technology. Coupled with DigiLens’ leading waveguide technology and laser focus on accelerating the development of the smartglasses computing category across the entire ecosystem, we are putting our full attention and support to deliver on this key initiative. With plastic waveguides, the head worn ecosystem can start designing for compelling ruggedized use cases, wrapped in a small and standalone form factor – we believe AR/XR glasses will be the next volume mobile device and we are very excited to be at the forefront of this new frontier.”

This announcement comes hot on the heels of DigiLens’ Design v1 developer platform, which was announced this past May. As part of the inaugural device from the Visualize Framework, the modular designed device will allow partners and OEMs to be able to customize form factors, style, electronics, as well as waveguide characteristics. It also allows software partners to learn how to optimize their unique UI/UX interfaces and helps foster industry standards quicker by reducing friction between XR companies and solution providers.

For more information, visit www.digilens.com.

About DigiLens

DigiLens is a leader in holographic waveguides used for augmented extended reality (XR) displays. The company has developed a patented optical platform and photopolymer technology that delivers best-in-class solutions using a unique, low-cost contact-copy manufacturing process. DigiLens enables OEM partners to design and build XR-enabled devices. Based in Sunnyvale, CA, DigiLens investors include industry leaders UDC Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Niantic Labs, Sony Innovation Fund, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Continental AG, and more. For more information about the company, please visit www.digilens.com.

About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, an operating company of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation Group, is one of the largest chemical companies in Japan. The company creates innovative solutions globally based on its core values of sustainability, health and comfort, striving for the well-being of people, society and our planet Earth. Learn more at www.m-chemical.co.jp/en.

About Diamond Edge Ventures

Diamond Edge Ventures, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), was established in July 2018 in the heart of Silicon Valley as the Corporate Venture Capital arm of the MCHC group. The company’s mission is to foster innovation across MCHC Group companies through investment in and strategic partnership with high-potential start-ups. For further information, contact info@diamondedge.vc.

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