Optical Display Developer Lumus Ltd. Raises $15M
Funding Led by Shanda Group and Crystal-Optech
Lumus Ltd., a leading developer of high-end transparent near-to-eye displays for augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and smart eyewear,announced today that it has received $15 million of funding led by Shanda Group, a global private investment group, along with Crystal-Optech, a leading Chinese photo-electric component manufacturer. Lumus will use the funding to scale up production of its market-leading, patent-protected optical technology for the emerging consumer market. Lumus develops and sells transparent displays to companies working on developing consumer and enterprise AR solutions.
The augmented and mixed reality market is predicted to grow dramatically over the next several years, according to new research from MarketsandMarkets, which asserts that the AR market will be worth $80 billion by 2022. More aggressive forecasts from DigiCapital predict an even brighter future, projecting $120 billion revenue by 2020. Growth is clearly evident today, DigiCap reports—while 2015 AR investments totaled $700 million, AR and virtual reality investment has already reached $1.1 billion during Q1 2016, a 20 percent jump from Q4 2015. “Interest in [AR] is off the charts,” Tom Mainelli of IDC writes. “Once you experience it, you realize this technology feels truly important.”
Consumer electronics and smart-eyewear manufacturers use Lumus for the underlying optical technology in their see-through wearable displays. Founded in 2000, Lumus is the gold standard for transparent displays based on its patented Light-guide Optical Element (LOE) waveguide, which always allows for the smallest form factor irrespective of the field of view. The Lumus DK-50 development kit, introduced earlier this year, offers AR creators a fully mobile, wireless, comprehensive stand-alone binocular display development kit.
“With this financing Lumus will move rapidly toward bringing our revolutionary optics technology to consumer applications,” Lumus CEO Ben Weinberger says. “Our production ramp-up is driven by demand for Lumus displays to power high-end augmented and mixed reality applications.”
“Lumus provides innovative, ground breaking optical technology for augmented reality and mixed reality that has been highly recognized industry-wide, and that is the main driver behind our leading this round of financing,” says Tianqiao Chen, Chairman and CEO of the Shanda Group. “We believe that Lumus is poised to solidify its leading position in transparent optical display as AR and MR applications are taking off.”
The Lumus near-to-eye display technology consists of the patented Light-Guide Optical Element—a unique eyeglass lens that contains an array of ultra-thin transparent reflectors—and a small, patented mini-projector that injects an image into the lens. Together they offer a wide field of view, true color, brightness that enables daytime reading, and a crystal clear see-through display. With Lumus technology, wearable eyeglass displays can now be compact, comfortable, and fashionable for the first time.
Lumus (www.lumusvision.com) optics enable the fusion of the digital and physical world, allowing businesses and individuals to maximize the potential of augmented reality and smart eyewear today. Lumus technology makes possible the most natural-looking eyewear, wide field of view, and true see-through performance available today. The augmented reality technology developed by Lumus is in fact already being used by leading consumer electronics and smart-eyewear manufacturers to develop future products. Additionally, health care, military aviation, and logistics are among the industries that rely on Lumus for the optical technology underlying their pioneering AR applications.
About Shanda Group
Shanda Group is a global private investment group that actively seeks global opportunities with substantial growth or unique breakthrough potential. The company was founded by Chairman and CEO Tianqiao Chen and his family in 1999 and was the first Chinese online gaming company listed on the NASDAQ in 2004. Shanda’s success in the online entertainment industry has led to its transformation into a global investor with a strong focus in cutting-edge technology.
Zhejiang Crystal-Optech Co., Ltd., is a national high-tech enterprise founded on Aug. 02, 2002 and listed in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Sep. 19, 2008 (stock code: 002273). The company is a domestic enterprise specializing in the research, development, and manufacturing of optical imaging, LED, micro display and reflective materials used in a range of products, including digital imaging lenses.