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6 March, 2019 - 18:23 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge ‘Star Trek’ technology startup hooks millions to attack $206bn market

Cambridge deep technology startup VividQ is raising millions to begin exploiting a global lead in 3D holography in a mega-billions play; Suir Valley Ventures has led a £3 million funding round which is still to close.

VividQ has developed patented software to enable commercial applications of holographic display in AR/VR headsets, smartglasses, automotive head-up displays, and consumer electronics.

Founded in Cambridge UK in February 2017, VividQ’s technical co-founders include engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and St Andrews with expertise in digital holography.

VividQ has established partnerships with chipmakers, display and hardware manufacturers in the US, Taiwan and Europe to enable mass adoption of holographic display with its patented software for hologram generation.

The AR market is expected to grow from $11 billion to $61bn between 2018 and 2023 with the VR market growing from $8bn to $34bn in the same period, at CAGRs (compound annual growth rates) of over 30 per cent, according to Markets and Markets.

At the same time, the global display market, valued at $115.60bn in 2017, is projected to reach $206.29bn by 2025, registering a CAGR of 7.4 per cent from 2018 to 2025, according to Allied Market Research.

The investment will enable VividQ to accelerate the adoption of its hologram-generating software. It aims to double its Cambridge and London-based teams to implement further developments to the software framework and complete ongoing customer projects, to productise devices using holographic display in 2020.

Suir Valley Ventures, an entrepreneur-led venture capital fund launched in partnership with Shard Capital Partners LLP to invest in early-stage software companies across a range of hi-tech verticals including Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, led the funding round.

VividQ CEO, Darran Milne, said: “Suir Valley have been great to work with, both for their professionalism and deep understanding of the companies they invest in and the technology behind them.

“They demonstrate the kind of vision and passion that the deep tech companies of today need to accelerate bringing truly disruptive solutions to market.”

Since foundation, VividQ has grown its commercial and technical teams in Cambridge and London, made a full release of its software framework and secured partnerships with world-class customers including hardware and embedded systems manufacturers.

Holography has long been considered the ultimate display technology. The science fiction ideal of engineering and manipulating light to produce 3D projections appealed to the imagination of millions through franchises such as Star Wars or Star Trek.

While physically possible, the tremendous computing requirements to create full-depth holographic display made it unreachable for commercial applications. Until now.

VividQ has developed solutions required for the mass adoption of holography in AR and consumer electronics. Its patented software framework allows for the real-time generation of holograms from 3D data and projection on available micro-displays.

Commercially viable holographic display solves a crucial problem of today’s AR/VR - the lack of depth perception, which disrupts the user’s sense of realism and results in eye-fatigue and nausea. Holography overcomes these issues and paves the way for immersive 3D without the need for glasses at all.

With technical co-founders leading their team out of Cambridge, VividQ has benefited from the rich research environment of the university and its Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics.

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