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29 July, 2020 - 21:43 By Tony Quested

Talking heads: Cambridge startup pioneers holographic headset

VividQ, a deep tech software startup based in Cambridge, has received a Smart Grant of £334K from Innovate UK to fund groundbreaking industrial R & D for a world first holographic headset prototype.

The prototype will showcase VividQ’s latest cutting-edge software for high quality Computer-Generated Holography (CGH), providing an enhanced visual experience for augmented reality devices with the best-in-class optics and tracking provided by the company’s partners.

The eventual goal is to provide a visual experience that feels natural, realistic and immersive to viewers. The device will be available to original equipment manufacturers and original design manufacturers as a reference in their pursuit to integrate holographic display in next generation consumer electronics.

In the past, the tremendous computing requirements to create full-depth holographic displays have made this technology unsuitable for commercial applications. VividQ’s industrial research will aim to address some of the key barriers to adoption of holography and other immersive technologies. 

The key innovations integrated as part of the project will include:-

  • The latest developments in optical systems (in particular secondary optics) for holographic projection to improve the image quality in the headset considerably
  • VividQ’s newest software release to provide a high-resolution 3D holographic experience with full depth of field.

VividQ’s grant proposal received excellent feedback from Innovate UK reviewers with high recognition for holography as an exciting technology with global opportunity in high-growth sectors, backed by a team possessing the requisite skills and expertise.

Darran Milne, co-founder and CEO at VividQ said: “With a viable platform to demonstrate the capabilities of holography in consumer electronics products, VividQ will get one step closer to securing our position at the forefront of the next display revolution.

“The project will accelerate the market adoption of VividQ’s holographic software, enabling our customers to develop and deploy game-changing AR devices.”

VividQ has already raised over $7 million in venture funding with backing from leading international investors including Sure Valley Ventures, OSRAM FluxUnit Ventures, University of Tokyo Edge Capital and Essex Innovation.

With world-leading expertise in 3D holography, VividQ was founded in 2017 by a team of expert engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and St Andrews, who solved key technology barriers in the adoption of holographic display. 

VividQ’s software brings real-time Computer Generated Holography to applications from automotive head-up displays, to Augmented Reality smart glasses and desktops.
 
The business has ensured that it collaborates with leading technology companies to “create the most realistic, immersive and sensational experiences.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: The VividQ management team, from left: Dr Andrzej Kaczorowski (CTO), Darran Milne (CEO) and COO Aleksandra Pędraszewska

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