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Mojo Vision recently veered away from plans to make AR contact lenses and is instead using its micro-LED technology to create better AR glasses. The partnership aims to combine the technologies developed by both companies to push AR forward.
DigiLens has created surface relief gratings (SRG) technology and waveguides for peak optimization in lenses for futuristic glasses. The partnership will accelerate the development of products for the augmented reality (AR)/extended reality (XR) market.
Mojo Vision is building the next generation of micro-LEDs to disrupt the global display industry; it has already debuted industry-first technology including the smallest, densest dynamic display as a prototype that shows what it can do.
Micro-LED displays are a critical component for powering AR/XR immersive, experiential products and systems. Mojo’s high-performance micro-LED display technology has the capability to deliver the necessary resolution, performance and efficiency for advanced AR/XR systems, especially in form factors like smart glasses.
Together, Mojo Vision and DigiLens said they will deliver on these requirements and enhance DigiLens’ current products for performance in the near term while collaborating to drive commercialization and adoption of the next generation of AR/XR products in the long term.
“Bringing our technologies together will raise the bar on display performance, and efficiency in the AR/XR industry,” said Nikhil Balram, CEO of Mojo Vision, in a statement. “Partnering with DigiLens brings AR glasses closer to mass-scale consumer electronics. These devices require a single-panel RGB micro-LED display with very small pixels, high brightness and efficiency, and a holographic waveguide with great uniformity, large field of view, minimal eye glow in a light-weight, compact form factor.”
In April, Mojo Vision raised $22.4 million as it pivoted from a very compelling dream to a more practical product with broad potential and slimmed-down ambitions.
The funding arrived as Mojo Vision appointed Balram as CEO and after the company laid off about 75% of its staff in January. Previously, the company focused on making an augmented reality device built into a contact lens. It built a prototype of that lens, powered by the world’s smallest display using micro-LED technology. But in the midst of the pandemic, it couldn’t raise enough money to bring that product — complete with a software and hardware stack — to the market.
So the Saratoga, California-based company narrowed its vision. It scaled back from 120 people in January to around 35, and it raised the round to commercialize its micro-LED display technology in the form of semiconductor chips for a broader market. It “decelerated” its work on the smart contact lenses, but did not kill that project entirely. Mojo Vision still holds all those patents and may revisit it someday, Balram said in an earlier interview with VentureBeat.
“Mojo’s proven micro-LED technology stands out from the competition, providing the high-resolution, integrated RGB panel solution that enables a form factor small enough for AR smartglasses,” said Chris Pickett, DigiLens CEO, in a statement. “Combined with DigiLens’ advanced SRG+-based waveguide displays, which produce best-in-class optical efficiencies and performance, the total form factor of the AR glasses can finally be small and light enough for consumers to wear for long periods of time and bright enough to allow them to see the superimposed digital information — even on a sunny day — without needing to darken the lenses.”
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