Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms Inc., has acquired 3D printed lenses Startup Luxexcel Group B.V. for an undisclosed sum to improve future augmented reality glasses.
Luxexcel, founded in 2009 and based in the Netherlands and Belgium, enables partners to 3D print prescription lenses in large quantities, create better lenses, and integrate smart technology into lenses. The VisionPlatform from the company includes a 3D printer, software, printing processes, and proprietary lens printing material, all of which work together to produce high-quality lenses.
Luxexcel 3D Printed Lenses
The ability to add an exact prescription with integrated waveguides, different lens projection areas, holographic films, or active foils inside the lens is part of the technology. It enables the combination of prescription lenses and smart glasses, which Luxexcel claims is impossible with legacy lens manufacturing. Simply put, Luxexcel’s technology has the potential to power the next generation of AR smart glasses.
Meta’s interest in the company stems from its ability to integrate technology into a lens to create smart glasses. Luxexcel’s 3D printing technology enables the direct integration of almost any device into a lens.
VisionPlatform™ 7 – 3D Printing Smart Glasses
The VisionPlatform™ 7 includes new features specifically designed for the production of prescription smart lenses that are lightweight, thin, and can be used in commercial frames similar to traditional eyeglasses. The platform was developed in response to market demand for flexible yet high-performance manufacturing systems, as well as customer-specific requirements.
VisionPlatform™ 7 is a technology-independent 3D printing platform that includes waveguides, holographic optical elements, and liquid crystal foils. The platform includes cutting-edge hardware, proprietary materials, cutting-edge software, and processes, as well as everything required to create prescription smart eyewear on-demand. With the ability to manufacture prescription smart eyewear, technology companies can accelerate their Augmented Reality (AR) eyewear projects while also allowing designers to design the smart glasses they want.
Meta previously collaborated with Luxexcel on Project Aria, which aims to bring augmented reality technology to everyday glasses.
The long-term goal for Meta is to move away from the bulky headsets typical in 2022 to a more seamless solution that is much lighter, easier to store and carry around.
Coming into its acquisition, Luxexcel had raised $22.8 million, according to Crunchbase. Investors in the company include Munich Venture Partners, Innovation Industries, SET Ventures, KLA Tencor and PMV.
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