UK-based holographic technology startup Envisics debuted with the intention to revolutionise the in-car experience with its technology. Now, the company has a partner that might help it achieve its mission.
New partnership with Panasonic for new head-up displays
During the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company announced that it has partnered with Panasonic Automotive Systems to develop and commercialise a new generation of head-up displays for cars, SUVs and trucks. Panasonic Automotive Systems is a tier 1 automotive supplier and an arm of Panasonic Corporation of North America.
Its head-up displays are units integrated in the vehicles’ dash projecting images into the windshield in order to help drivers with navigation and other alerts. As a result of the partnership, Panasonic HUDs will use the holographic technology it Envisics.
The new partnership will combine Panasonic’s expertise in optical design as well as its global reach to bring holography technology into the mainstream. Notably, the company intends to begin the mass production of its technology in 2023.
Investment from bit automotive players
Founded by Jamieson Christmas in 2018, Envisics bagged $50M (nearly £37M) Series B funding in a round led by Hyundai Mobis, General Motors’ GM Ventures, SAIC Capital, the venture arm of SAIC Motors, and Van Tuyl Companies (VTC). This investment that it raised in October last year is supposed to be used for continued development of its technology and to bring fresh iterations of the same into the market.
Hyundai Mobis, a branch of the Korean car maker, will integrate Envisics’ AR HUDs as part of its autonomous driving development. At the time of investment, it was announced that the fund will be used to integrate the technology in the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq electric vehicle.
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Aims bring holography into mainstream
Envisics focuses solely on the automotive applications of holography technology. It is stated that the first generation of this tech is already integrated in over 150,000 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. Besides aiming to bring holography into mainstream, Envisics’ technology is likely to enter into mass production in 2023.
“This is very much about part of our business plan, you know the Series B funding round we undertook was about scaling the business and enabling us to move forward as we enter the market,” Christmas said. “Part of that was a commitment to engage in partnerships with Tier ones that we can then work with to deliver these products to market.
He added that they will come up with head-up displays with high resolution, wider color gamut and larger images that can be projected upon reality. The technology can also simultaneously project information at multiple distances. This can be used for night vision applications such as overlaying enhanced information upon a dark road to clearly show where the road is heading and the obstacles on the path.