Auburn Hills technology company and automotive supplier Continental Thursday announced it is increasing its investment in DigiLens Inc., a company in Silicon Valley specializing in holographic waveguide projection technology. Continental will hold close to 18 percent of DigiLens after its Series C financing round.
Continental first invested in DigiLens in 2016 in a partnership to develop a waveguide head-up display (HUD) that fulfills automotive requirements. The technology is now ready for industrialization.
“As a result of strong encouragement after several customer demonstrations, we are excited to intensify our joint efforts and accelerate development. Continental’s support at the highest level is a testament to their enthusiasm and our common values,” says Chris Pickett, CEO of DigiLens. “Engineers from both of our companies are pioneering a disruptive solution.”
DigiLens’ technology enables head-up displays for applications including automotive, aviation, and motorcycle helmets. Its AutoHUD waveguide product doubles the field of view, making a larger display required for augmented reality applications, while reducing the component volume to one-sixth of the traditional size
“By reducing the size of head-up displays, this waveguide technology truly holds the potential to revolutionize the market,” says Thorsten-Alexander Kern, head of HUD product development at Continental’s business unit Instrumentation and Driver HMI, and member of the DigiLens board of directors. “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.”
The technology reduces hardware and the volume in the vertical axis using diffracted light instead of mirrors to direct and magnify images.
“Based on the waveguide technology, we see a great potential to realize augmented reality head-up displays also for a broad market,” says Kern.
Continental was founded in 1871 and employs more than 240,000 people in 61 countries. Its global headquarters is in Germany.