Wave Optics, a UK based technology start up (founded by Sumanta Talukdar and David Grey in 2014) has closed a second round of funding with a total of $15.5 million to continue their technology development. The company focuses on thin waveguides to enable a wider field of view and brighter full color images. According to WaveOptics their optical design harnesses waveguide hologram physics and photonic crystals, which enable lightweight design with good optical performance.
According to an article in Business Insider, existing backers Octopus Ventures, Touchstone Innovations, and Robert Bosch Venture Capital took part in the second round. China’s Gobi Ventures also took part for the first time. Blipped invested at an earlier time, but did not invest in this round. It appears that the second round investment was driven by venture capital firms rather than potential partners and customers.
WaveOptics is a company that is working on the necessary parts of a good AR display. In order to create lighter and more stylish headword devices, we need to have components that can bring the images provided by the micro displays to the eye of the user. Google Glass for example used a prism to achieve this task, in order to improve on the resulting field of view and image quality other approaches are necessary. WaveOptics is one of the potential suppliers of such technology and we can only hope a successful one that will enable better AR in the future. While the funding amount seems small when compared to the money flooding into Magic Leap, for example, we need to remember that this is just a component, while Magic Leap seems to develop the whole AR system in a green field approach. (NH)