UPDATED 20:28 EDT / DECEMBER 21 2021


Meta acquires VR and AR optics technology company ImagineOptix

Meta Platforms Inc. has acquired ImagineOptix Corp., a developer of augmented and virtual reality optics technology designed to overcome optical and optoelectronics challenges in displays.

The acquisition was first discovered Dec. 17 by optics analyst Karl Guttag and confirmed today by Meta to The Information. It’s not clear when Meta acquired the company. The website for ImagineOptix is no longer online, and the last listing with content in the Internet Archive for the company is from Sept. 2.

The price of the acquisition is also unknown. According to Crunchbase, ImagineOptix had raised $20 million in venture capital funding prior to its acquisition. In an interview following a raise of $5 million in March, ImagineOptix Chief Executive Officer Erin Clark said the company at the time was looking to raise $4 million more.

Meta’s interest in acquiring ImagineOptix immediately stands out and that’s for its virtual reality division, previously known as Oculus. The applications of ImagineOptix technology in the VR business include OLED display panel enhancements, integrated infrared and visible sensors, compact wide field of view pancake lens systems, focus accommodation and eye-tracking.

Founded in 2004, ImagineOptix manufactures thinner, lighter and more efficient optics that enable lifelike, seamless user experiences for AR and VR. The company’s linear photo polymerization or LCP optics are made of micron-thick layers that deliver the thinnest, lightest products available that are perfect for consumer applications.

The ImagineOptix LCP optics create continuous phase profiles with the highest efficiency available, maximizing battery life and enabling applications not possible with other optics technology, according to the company, and the LCP optics support a range of wide-angle, high uniformity waveguides and complex aspherical lenses.

The company has a design and manufacturing facility to support development through to mass production, including custom-designed roll-to-roll volume production tailored to producing LCP optics.

The acquisition of ImagineOptix isn’t Meta’s first acquisition in the VR market and it likely won’t be the last. Previous Meta acquisitions in the VR space include Downpour Interactive, Ready at Dawn, Sanzaru Games, Beat Games and BigBox VR.

Image: ImagineOptix/Sketchfab

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