Google Hardware CEO Rick Osterloh confirmed today that the company has acquired Raxium, a five-year-old startup using MicroLED technology that could play a key role in building a new generation of augmented, virtual and mixed reality headsets.
This adds to the evidence that Google’s next big AR move is drawing near: The company previously acquired eyewear maker North in 2020 and is reportedly hiring engineers to create an augmented reality operating system. We learned in January that Google Labs is building an AR headset called “Project Iris” under the same leadership as Project Starline’s high-definition video chat demo shown during its I/O event last year.
When The information First reporting on Google’s Raxium purchase last month, it noted that MicroLED technology could be useful for building AR displays that are more energy efficient than other solutions but still look colorful. In addition, Raxium is working on “monolithic integration” for MicroLEDs that The information They would reportedly be made from the same type of silicon used for most processors, potentially bringing the price down significantly. Other companies working on MicroLED AR hardware were Oppo, Apple and Vuzix.
As for the competition, Microsoft has already shipped an augmented reality device powered by HoloLens, while Apple, Meta, Snap and others are reportedly investing heavily to develop their own hardware that overlays information and images over the real world.
According to Raxium’s website, a Super AMOLED screen on your phone has a pixel pitch (the distance between the center of one pixel and the center of another pixel next to it) of around 50 microns, while its MicroLED could manage around 3.5 microns. It also boasts “unprecedented efficiency” that is more than five times better than any world record.
Osterloh referenced both size and efficiency in his blog post about the future display technologies Raxium could build. He said the company will join Google’s Devices & Services team and that its “technical expertise in this space will play a key role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts.”
https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/4/23057579/google-acquires-raxium-microled-ar-vr-displays Google bought MicroLED startup Raxium for its AR headset displays