DigiLens CEO, Chris Pickett, shares his thoughts on the future of AR, the ecosystem needed to get there, and the partnerships DigiLens is building to pave the way
We’re on the threshold of a really intense and exciting time. The world is just beginning to understand and embrace the wonders and benefits of augmented reality (AR). It’s terrifically symbolic to me that as we move toward the year 2020, all sorts of opportunities to reap these benefits are coming into clear 20/20 focus!
DigiLens delivers enabling technology for transparent, holographic waveguide displays and has some dynamic and forward-thinking partners to thank for our part in this journey. Most recently, two cutting-edge companies—Samsung, a leader in display technology, and Universal Display, a leader in OLED materials for displays—have chosen to invest in our vision of the future of AR. It’s a distinct honor for us and a welcome affirmation that we’re on the right track.
These two industry leaders played key roles in DigiLens’ Series C investment round, which was oversubscribed and fully funded at a total of $50 million. Their partnerships enable us to broaden our market opportunities as we continue building an ecosystem of manufacturers, OEMs, and content providers. This infrastructure will allow us to move forward in multiple markets simultaneously, as we continue to advance our holographic AR displays, while striving for consumer-friendly price points that encourage growth.
With AR, there’s a real quantum leap coming. And we will have our eyes opened in a way they never have been before. With AR, all kinds of information can be displayed visually and placed in context of the world around you so you can have a more useful or compelling experience.
We envision a world where, rather than consulting your phone or GPS when you’re driving, personalized data appears alongside any element in your sightline—not only directions or maps, but specific data and graphics that are relevant to you, making the augmentation of the real world intensely personal with elements like restaurant recommendations (like those that Yelp! provides now), historic data, or geolocated reminders for interaction with friends, family hobbies or work. Forget Google Glass (ok, most of us already have). This is AR for the real world.
We’re extremely proud to be part of this future vision of vision and I’m particularly proud to be part of DigiLens. We’re in a unique position to pioneer this new wave of AR, combining our software, the proprietary photopolymers vital to our product, and an innovative manufacturing process. We are the only company that’s able to create both small and large holographic waveguides using these same materials and processes with the ability to help to bring them to market at a consumer price point. That’s part of why the path we’re traveling has great potential for success.
Samsung and Universal Display join our other great partners, including Continental AG (leader in automotive heads up displays), Foxconn (leader in advanced manufacturing), Mitsubishi Chemical (leader in plastics for future plastic waveguide displays), Niantic (leader in AR content), Panasonic, and Sony Innovation Fund. The DigiLens ecosystem has come together in a very organic way—a natural-growth fusion of our varied strengths and the needs and wants of the marketplace. Together, we all look forward to expanding the scope of future AR technology beyond what we can even envision today.
Chris Pickett, CEO