Continental increases its investment in Silicon Valley-based DigiLens to close to 18 percent
Promising results of joint development for automotive waveguide head-up displays are paving the way for augmented reality
Thorsten-Alexander Kern (Continental) joins DigiLens’ Board of Directors
Babenhausen (Germany), Sunnyvale (CA) — May 17, 2018: The technology company Continental is increasing its investment in DigiLens Inc., the Silicon Valley-based leader in holographic waveguide projection technology. With its additional investment, Continental will hold close to 18% of DigiLens after the Series C financing round. Continental first invested in DigiLens in 2016, and through a strategic partnership to jointly develop a waveguide head-up display (HUD) that fulfills automotive requirements, the technology is now ready for industrialization.
DigiLens’ holographic waveguide technology enables head-up displays for different applications including automotive, aviation and motorcycle helmets. The company’s AutoHUD waveguide product transforms the HUD performance by doubling the field of view making a much larger display required for augmented reality applications, while reducing the component volume to one-sixth of the traditional size.
The AutoHUD waveguide product transforms the HUD performance by doubling the field of view, making a much larger display required for augmented reality applications, while reducing the component volume.
“By reducing the size of head-up displays, this waveguide technology truly holds the potential to revolutionize the market,” says Thorsten-Alexander Kern, Head of HUD Product Development at Continental’s business unit Instrumentation & Driver HMI and member of the DigiLens Board of Directors. “Seeing the first promising results, we are happy that we could increase our investment in DigiLens and further work together in order to bring this exciting technology on the road.”
Instead of using mirrors to direct and magnify the images in a head-up display, the waveguide technology is diffracting the light, thus reducing hardware and the volume in the vertical axis. Specifically, for large projections, as needed for augmented reality, mirror-based head-up displays require a lot of space in the dashboard of a vehicle, which is mostly not available.
“Based on the waveguide technology, we see a great potential to realize augmented reality head-up displays for a broad market”, says Kern.
“As a result of strong encouragement after several customer demonstrations, we are excited to intensify our joint efforts and accelerate development. Continental’s support at the highest level is a testament to their enthusiasm and our common values,” said Chris Pickett, CEO of DigiLens. “Engineers from both of our companies are pioneering a disruptive solution.”
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2017, Continental generated sales of €44 billion and currently employs more than 240,000 people in 61 countries.
Information management in and beyond the vehicle is at the very heart of the Interior division. The product portfolio for different types of vehicles includes: instrument clusters, multifunctional and head-up displays, control units, access control and tire-information systems, radios, infotainment systems, input devices, control panels, climate control units, software, cockpits as well as services and solutions for telematics and Intelligent Transportation Systems. The Interior division employs more than 46,000 people worldwide and generated sales of €9.3 billion in 2017.
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 for the global automobile, enterprise, consumer, avionics, and military industries. 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.
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