DigiLens, the Silicon Valley-based waveguide maker, today announced that Samsung’s venture capital group Samsung Ventures is increasing its stake in the company.

At the time of this writing, neither firm has detailed the extent of the investment, stating simply that Samsung Ventures is again investing through a convertible debt instrument.

DigiLens most recently closed its Series C financing back in May 2019 to the tune of $50 million, which saw Samsung Ventures join alongside UDC Ventures, Niantic, Continental AG, Sony Innovation Fund, and Diamond Edge Ventures, the VC arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation as investors.

As a developer of waveguide displays and laser waveguide-based light engines, DigiLens aims to make cost-effective components for AR headsets, something it hopes to do at a consumer price point in the future.

The company touts its ability to create waveguide displays that are “smaller, thinner and lighter than conventional optics and light engines, and far cheaper to mass produce.”

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Although the company is eyeing consumer AR, DigiLens has also integrated its technology into heads-up displays (HUDs) for a number of industries including automobiles, avionics, retail and architecture.

“Samsung Ventures is a partner who fully understands all the different challenges of the XR ecosystem. Optics are by far the hardest element of the next platform – especially when it comes to packaging them at an affordable price point and sleek form factor that will attract mass adoption,” said Chris Pickett, DigiLens CEO. “XR devices simply can’t work without a compelling optical solution – they are the window into augmenting the world with digital content and we believe DigiLens’ light engine and waveguide solution will finally bring quality optics to the market. We’re hugely proud of our ecosystem of licensed manufacturers, software partners and OEM investors who continue to support us in this mission.”

Outside of today’s investment, DigiLens has secured $90 million since it was founded in 2003.

Update (April 20th, 2020 – 12:10PM PT): An earlier version of this article stated that DigiLens had raised $110 million to date; this has been corrected to $90 million.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • It’s fun how they word the video to make each and every word as hard to follow as humanly possible. It’s a synergy of dynamic bovine colonic waste based fertilization at maximum saturation.

    • Mei Ling

      “It’s a synergy of dynamic bovine colonic waste based fertilization at maximum saturation.”

      Hahaha! :)

    • Ben Parry

      hehe I think its more geared towards investors who understand optics and understand characteristics of light :) still a good video at explaining some of the process.

      • I’ve seen a few of these and know the physics behind it. It’s littered with Buzzwords. It’s designed to peek an investor’s interest, but without telling them anything important. It’s 10% useful and 90% BS. It’s aimed at the investor who *kinda* knows something about the tech, but not alot.

        I bet investors hate watching these, as these type of videos are so obviously manipulative. It’s like watching a shell game on the street.

  • Mei Ling

    The video has a very 90’s feel to it. It’s almost as if I had seen a video like this before in 1995 about some upcoming technology.

    • Ben Parry

      haha its the voice… reminds me of many of today’s training videos for OHS

      • Mei Ling

        Yep but also the way it’s filmed and edited. Very very 90’s! Hahaha

  • Digilens was founded by Dr Jonathan Walden, former founder of Virtuality (pioneering UK based VR company from early 90’s.

    Great to see him still building immersive technology, all these years later.


    • David Hothersall

      W industries before it went public.
      I bought SD1000 #3 off them, it had been used for the Faberge ‘Hero’ virtual hang glider promotion. :)

    • Great picture!

  • Eidetic

    Retinal Displays in the late ’90s, before changing the name to Digilens around 2000. Amazed to read of more investment after two full decades, for a technology that truely uses holography to make holographic waveguides with real holograms. Way ahead of their time.

  • AnnoyedAnonymous

    Me too hence one’s interest in VR.

    • It’s been a very long wait from 1991 until the Vive pre in 2016…but wow!


      • AnnoyedAnonymous


        I was living in Catford at the time, so before going back to either Portsmouth or Plymouth, the then Mrs and I would go up on a Sunday afternoon and I’d have a bash. I always felt a little ’empty’ afterwards though. I understood that the graphics being what they were as technology would improve.
        But what I found was a disconnect in where I was sat and what I was doing. I wanted to physically walk around and interact in a virtual world.
        With the nameless person (he who can no longer be named for fear of upsetting certain people – no, not Voldemort..) getting the kickstarter investment made me realise that this is to be the renaissance of VR.
        I was a little crestfallen when I saw the cable on the DKs 1 and 2 – so we went and created our own wireless HMD with inbuilt audio back in 2016.

  • Congrats to them!