Lumus— a company that makes transparent “near-to-eye” display devices for augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR)— announced Wednesday that they have secured $15 million in a Series B round, which was lead by global private investment firm Shanda Group, and accompanied by Crystal-Optech, a Chinese optic imaging company. Lumus currently has an intellectual property called a Light-guide Optical Element (LOE) waveguide. It is a patented way to project AR, MR, and other content onto special displays that fit into smart glasses or head mounted displays (HMD).
“Lumus is always looking for innovative ways to improve the AR experience. Beyond further breakthroughs in our waveguide technology, working with partners like SMI on integrating their market-leading eye-tracking solution is a perfect example of the type of cooperation between two leading innovators that can push the needle further toward mass adoption of augmented reality,” said Chief product officer at Lumus, Eli Glikman.
Basically, LOEs are tiny little prisms that are build into the display lens, and are able to pull in light particles from a small projector while staying transparent. The LOE, combined with its micro projector, are vital components in making up their “optical engine”. According to the technology company, the advantage of their optics are that they have a very bright, wide field of view while keeping a small footprint.
In terms of production capacity, the company says they have already expanded from 200-300 optical engines per month to 1500 per month. With their additional capital, they plan on producing many thousands per month in the near future. Regarding R&D, plans for expansion are set to take place as early as the fourth quarter, when the company is planning to release their new 60 degree FOV optical engine to the mass market.
Lumus looks to continue at a pace where their display technology is featured in most interactive eyewear. With revenue estimates of the market for AR/MR/VR reaching a possible $120 billion by 2020, the future is bright for the optical company.