Digilens Unwraps World’s First Augmented Reality
Lens Made From Hard Plastic
Breakthrough Could Accelerate Delivery of Affordable Consumer AR Devices
AWE CONFERENCE – SANTA CLARA, CA – May 30, 2019: DigiLens Inc., an innovator in holographic waveguide display technology for augmented reality (AR) devices, today announced the world’s first full-color eyeglass display using robust plastic substrates. The news comes on the heels of the company’s recent announcement of the closing of a $50 million Series C round of funding.
“Seeking to bring down the cost of quality smart glasses, the breakthrough is the direct result of a partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and Diamond Edge Ventures who partipicated in our Series C funding round,” said Jonathan Waldern, chief technology officer for Digilens. “With Mitsubishi Chemical, we’ve designed a high-quality lens prototype from sturdy plastic and glass that can be made at a fraction of the cost.”
“This is a significant development in the evolution of material science and engineering,” said Patrick Suel, president of Diamond Edge Ventures. “There’s a huge potential for the consumer market for AR lenses involving everything from smart glasses and gaming headsets to motorcycle helmets and smartphones.”
The unique plastic sheet with TTV (total thickness variation) needed for this achievement leverages Mitsubishi Chemical’s strong background in advanced polymer and Digilens’ expertise in creating holographic waveguide displays and materials for global automotive, enterprise, consumer, avionics and military brands.
The plastic substrates involved in this process, whether configured for all-plastic or hybrid plastic-glass waveguides, are fully compatible with Digilens’ proprietary Holocrystal™ printable nanocomposite material technology. This ensures any consumer AR device will enjoy the clearest, brightest and most colorful images possible.
DigiLens’ Holocrystal photopolymer is an extraordinarily high-index modulation system that combines proven liquid crystal (LC) and monomer components. It works by creating optical “nano-structures” within the waveguides that direct and diffract light to produce an inexpensive and highly efficient wide field-of-view for eyeglass and other large format head-up displays (HUDs).
“DigiLens has already shown through its AR motorcycle helmet HUD, developed in partnership with several motorcycle brands, that our technology can deliver HUDs small enough for two-wheel applications at a consumer price point,” said Waldern. “And now, thanks to this first-of-its-kind plastic material, developed with Mitsubishi Chemical, companies can make waveguide displays that will be lighter, less expensive and nearly unbreakable, providing safety benefits for smart glasses, smart visors and other digital eyewear.”
DigiLens is a leader in holographic waveguides used for 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 for the global automobile, enterprise, consumer, avionics, and military industries. Based in Sunnyvale, CA, DigiLens investors include industry leaders like Samsung Electronics, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Diamond Edge Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Alsop Louie Partners, Optimas Capital Management, 37 Interactive Entertainment, UDC Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Universal Display Corporation, Niantic, Inc., Sony Innovation Fund, Dolby Family Ventures, Continental AG, and more.