Now this is one of the first significant investments that HTC made for an Israeli startup. And the reason is, they are looking for more tech supports to augment the HTC Vive. According to the reports of the startup Lumus, a $45 million Series C funding has been made by the Taiwanese ODM company along with the participation of the Taiwanese phone maker HTC. Previously, there was also an attempt for funding the AR technology. The companies interested in funding are Shanda Group and Crystal-Optech. Both the companies dropped $15 million for opening the round. So, with HTC and Quanta in play, Lumus grabbed $30 million more after the initial investment.
According to Lumus CEO, Ben Weinberger, “This new funding will help Lumus continue to scale up our R&D and production in response to the growing demand from companies creating new augmented reality and mixed reality applications, including consumer electronics and smart eyeglasses. We also plan to ramp up our marketing efforts to realize and capture the tremendous potential of our unique technology to re-envision reality in the booming AR industry.”
Lumus Project with HTC
The new startup, Lumus, prepares the see-through display optics. The company is working efficiently towards a particular technology called waveguide displays. With this technology, you can project light across any transparent display from an edge. These will offer you with the ability to check the emails check your schedules, do research with the help of motion detection. They are proud to provide a wide field view in an innovative set of frames. They use the patented micro-projector for displaying the images from one side of frames into lenses. The challenge for AR display is miniaturization. The tiny form factor will need the company like Lumus to be aggressive when it is about thinking small gadgets and functions.
The lens comprises of transparent reflectors. They have patented and also dubbed the “light guide optical element.” The glasses also promise exact color and suitable brightness even in daylight. These are the reasons to believe. The D50 standalone developer kit comprises a display with a field of view around 40 degrees. It is a bit larger than the Microsoft’s present Hololens. The company is planning for to make the debut with the developer kit with almost 50% larger field view more than D50.
Google Glass is presently covering the market. So it can be tough for Lumus to make an entry with this see-through optics. But chances are, they can end up with better timing than Google’s one. You just cannot deny that the market is soaring with investors looking to put money on AR and VR. There is a 30% chance that Global 2000 companies will start incorporating AR and VR in their marketing programs. The bigger investors will look to take up the bare bolts of technology for applying it in different industries. These industries include health-tech or the aviation sector.
There can be more than 3.4 million AR-infused smart glasses in 2020. The leader of investors in a startup, Atheer, is also joining hands with Lumus. They are using the optical tech power of Lumus for powering their enterprise-geared smart glasses. According to Weinberger, Lumus is shipping more than 1000 units in a month.
According to the COO of HTC, they are focussing on AR/VR right now. It will be like hunting for technology which will be built on the HTV Vive VR device. The present investment by HTC is aligned with the extension into AR following the successful VIVE launch this year. Not only HTC, another investor, Quanta, is also pretty satisfied with the growth strategy and investment in Lumus. It is the pioneering technology. Quanta President C.C. Leung is confident about Lumus as the innovator and industry leader for transparent optical displays in AR market. Yaakov Amitai founded Lumus in 2000. He maintains the headquarters in Rehovot, Israel. At present 70 employees work there.