Smartglasses is the future for increased reality, and Samsung is investing in the waveguide company DigiLens to become a leader in the growing portable industry in AR.
On Tuesday, the company closed a $ 50 million series C funding round that includes Samsung's venture arm and Pokémon GO maker Niantic among its investors.
Samsung Venture Investment Corp, along with UDC Ventures, joined the overridden funding round with Niantic, Continental AG, the Sony Innovation Fund, Diamond Edge Ventures, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation and others among those who had already committed financing in November 2018.
"UDC Ventures and Samsung Ventures have recognized through this investment that DigiLens is the foremost in waveguide technology and the only waveguide that can reach a consumer price point through its proprietary photopolymer, they sign software and innovative manufacturing process, "says Chris Pickett, DigiLen's CEO, in a statement. "These partnerships provide the ecosystem that enables our technology to enter a variety of display markets into a variety of form factors."
Along with his company's investment, Steven V. Abramson, President and CEO of Universal Display Corporation, will serve as an observer and board advisor. In this role, he will borrow his expertise in product development and OEM relations.
"We are happy to work with DigiLens as they continue to focus on enabling a number of high-growth markets with their patented holographic waveguides," Abramson said. "With parallels to our own company, we look forward to working together to get the best solutions in several industries and to cooperate on the future of the OLED technology within the expanded and virtual reality."
The new injection of capital will help DigiLen's further develop its waveguide technology, which includes the Crystal 25 reference design for smart glass showing the manufacturer Young Optics has licensed and recently started delivering to customers.
Among waveguide display manufacturers who venture to capitalize on increased reality portable DigiLens stands as one of the better-funded starters, who previously closed a $ 25 million C funding round in 2018 and a series of $ 22 million around 2017.  Having participated in a $ 245 million Financing Round in Niantic Earlier this year, the world's leading smartphone maker is deepening its mobile AR gaming pioneers investment, as both companies have undertaken intel in the same waveguide. While Niantic's strategic investment in DigiLens and smartglass ecosystems expands the market for its games and its AR cloud platform, Samsung sees DigiLens as a potential provider for its own AR laptops.
Currently, Samsung and Niantic are fortunate to capitalize on the mobile AR world, but it is not too far to expect that Samsung's smartglasses are equipped with DigiLen's waveguides that show Niantic AR games in the foreseeable future.