Waveguide manufacturer DigiLens has closed a $25 million Series C round of funding from automotive technology company Continental, which uses the technology in its heads up displays.
According to DigiLens, its AutoHUD waveguide boasts a larger field of view that can accommodate augmented reality applications at a fraction of the component size of competing products, which use mirrors to reflect and magnify images for the driver's view and require more space to accommodate them.
"By reducing the size of head-up displays, this waveguide technology truly holds the potential to revolutionize the market," said Thorsten-Alexander Kern, head of HUD product development for the Instrumentation & Drive HMI business unit at Continental, in a statement. "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."
Along with its previous investment in DigiLens in 2017, Continental holds an 18% stake in the company. Kern will also join DigiLens board of directors as part of the funding deal.
"Based on the waveguide technology, we see a great potential to realize augmented reality head-up displays also for a broad market," said Kern.
The investment will enable DigiLens and Continental to accelerate development of their technology, which DigiLens CEO Chris Pickett notes has received positive feedback from demonstrations.
"Continental's support at the highest level is a testament to their enthusiasm and our common values," said Pickett. "Engineers from both of our companies are pioneering a disruptive solution."
While the future of driving is in autonomous vehicles, augmented reality has the potential to make cars safer in the meantime by providing information, such as navigation, in the driver's field of view. New investments like Continental's to development underlying AR technology will likely help speed general adoption among automakers.
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