Speaker: Jonathan Waldern, Ph.D., Founder, Chairman & CTO of DigiLens Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA)
DigiLens is a leader in holographic waveguides used for augmented reality (AR) displays. The company has developed a patented optical platform and photopolymer technology that delivers best-in-class solutions using a unique, low cost contact-copy manufacturing process. DigiLens enables OEM partners to design and build AR-enabled devices for the global automobile, enterprise, consumer, avionics and military industries. Based in Sunnyvale, CA, DigiLens investors include industry leaders UDC Ventures, Samsung Ventures, Niantic Labs, Sony Innovation Fund, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, Continental AG and more. For more information about the company please visit: www.digilens.com.
DigiLens’s Switchable Bragg Grating (SBG) waveguides enable switchable, tunable and digitally reconfigurable color waveguide displays with a field of view, brightness and form factor surpassing those of competing technologies. DigiLens waveguides can be laminated to integrate multiple optical functions into a thin transparent electro-optical wearable device. DigiLens waveguide gratings are printed into a proprietary polymer and liquid crystal mixture that can provide any required combination of diffraction efficiency and angular bandwidth in a thin waveguide with high transparency and very low haze. Aside a technology overview and demonstrations, Waveguide technology for providing compact wide-angle, low-cost wearable HUDs for partially autonomous road vehicles with scalability to meet future HUD requirements extending beyond safety and vehicle informatics in fully autonomous vehicles will be presented.
A pioneer in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), Jonathan led the development of the first public VR games system and multiplayer game “Dactyl Nightmare”, which led to him founding the first public VR company, Virtuality. There his team developed the first consumer VR game headset for Atari, launched at E3 in 1995. In 1998 Jonathan emigrated to Silicon Valley to research and redress the deficiencies of classical optics for wearable displays. Today, DigiLens Inc. supplies optical nanomaterials and holographic printing tools, which enable the manufacture of diffractive waveguide optics for commercial HUD’s and “eyeglass” thin wearable AR displays. An innovator at heart, Dr. Waldern graduated in Design Engineering. Sponsored by the UK’s strategic computing initiative, he won a scholarship and partnered with IBM Scientific Center to develop VR systems at Loughborough University of Technology. His alma mater has become a center of excellence in both holography and VR/AR industrial research. Jon is a named inventor on over 100 patents and 35 technical papers. He’s developed five generations of VR and AR headsets, many of which are now considered “collectibles”. Waldern is the recipient of three National Business Awards and amongst several product accolades, recently won “Best New Display” during The Society for Information Display’s Display Week.