There are numerous companies working on augmented reality (AR) solutions to make the technology smaller and more user-friendly. Korean startup LetinAR showcased its new optical solution during CES 2018 at the beginning of the year. Now, the company has announced the successful completion of a Series A funding round securing $3.6 million USD of investment.
The system LetinAR has been developing is the “Pin Mirror (“PinMR”) lens” and a microdisplay made by external partners. The company has applied the so-called “Pinhole Effect” to tiny mirrors and embedded them with eyeglass lenses, enabling PinMR to reflect the light from a microdisplay and guide the light into human pupils.
“We have developed PinMR™ technology, a new way to overcome the technical barriers that have long existed in the AR industry. LetinAR PinMR™ optical solution boasts much more superior performance than existing counterparts,” said LetinAR CEO Jaehyeok Kim in a statement. “We believe that PinMR Lens will fundamentally change the way people communicate in the near term.”
Currently, smart glasses tend to be fairly bulky affairs with a narrow Field of View (FOV), complicated manufacturing process, and inaccurate colour representation. The simple structure of a PinMR Lens module has been designed to facilitate mass production, with the product displaying: ‘up to 66% wider virtual screen than the currently available optical systems while more accurately expressing colours,’ claims LetinAR.
“Two biggest Korean internet companies investing a single hardware startup is very unusual. We are thrilled to help LetinAR bring their innovative product to market,” said Gi-Joon Kim, partner of Kakao Ventures. “Several tech giants have tried to build AR glasses. However, due to the complicated optical system they employ, no one has succeeded in coming up with AR glasses with a look of a pair of ordinary glasses. With an outstanding team of developers, LetinAR has solved this problem and is ready to completely transform this growing industry. We will fully support LetinAR growing into an industry leader.”
LetinAR will begin providing PinMR Lens samples next year for smart glasses manufacturers to evaluate the device. As advancements are made, VRFocus will continue to bring you the latest updates.