Switzerland-based Lemoptix — which develops technology that enables micro-projectors to be embedded in mobile phones, automotive heads-up-displays, and low-powered wearable displays — has raised an undisclosed new round of funding from existing investors and new strategic investor, Swisscom Ventures, the venture arm of the Swiss telco.
Spun off from the highly respected Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 2008, Lemoptix produces MEMS-based micro-projection technology to enable tiny, low powered projection displays to be embedded in mobile phones, HUDs and other wearables so that content can be displayed on a nearby surface or projected within the device itself, bypassing the typical limitations of physical displays. It then licenses this tech to partners and customers, supporting them through the initial development stages, prototyping, all the way to the industrialisation and production of new products.
Noteworthy, given the recent hype surrounding wearables and Google Glass, Lemoptix says it’s actively developing solutions and collaborating with industry partners in the area of wearable displays for smartglasses-type applications.
“Google Glass (and surrounding hype) has had an incredible effect on the market, which has seriously sparked competing consumer electronics device manufacturers who don’t want to be left behind to take action,” Lemoptix CEO Marco Boella tells TechCrunch. “I don’t know of many of these that wouldn’t in some way or another be looking into or developing these systems.”
He also says that Google Glass-type devices won’t ultimately end up being gadgets, but fit a number of real use-cases for wearable displays, such as in the areas of sport, medical applications, aiding the visually-impaired, security, maintenance, and head-mounted displays for motor cyclists, to name just a few.
“The number of different use-cases eliminates the risks of being dependent on one much-hyped application or another,” adds Boella.
However, he is far less bullish about the smartwatch. “Wearable displays can become the real extension/portal to the smartphone which the smartwatch will never really be in our opinion,” he says.