JVCKenwood announced it has invested in a maker of Augmented Reality (AR) Heads Up Displays (HUDs), called WayRay.
The AR-HUDs under development by WayRay allow the projection of driving information with a wider field of view than conventional HUD units, said JVCKenwood. And they apply holographic AR, so that instead of the static images on conventional HUDs, you get moving images that correspond to real data.
Not only JVCKenwood, but also Porsche and Hyundai announced investments in WayRay this week, along with Alibaba and several financial firms, raising $80 million in total.
Through JVCKenwood’s investment, it plans not only to co-develop augmented reality products with WayRay, but also to bring augmented reality to other products from JVCKenwood in the automotive sector, it announced.
It’s part of JVCKenwood’s larger plan to grow its business in dashcams and car mounted cameras, which are expected to see greater demand as cars become autonomous.
WayRay claims its holographic displays have the potential to be 20 times smaller than other HUDs. It also says it holds more patents on AR-HUDs than any other company, according to TechCrunch.
WayRay showed at CES this year, an aftermarket prototye HUD called Navion but TechCrunch says WayRay’s main focus is now on OEM devices. This is due, in part, to the high level of competition in aftermarket HUDs coming from China.
The market for automotive heads up display is expected to reach over $1 billion by 2023, up from $560 million last year. Makers Panasonic and Continental are also invested in the OEM HUD market.
WayRay was founded in 2012, based in Switzerland with its main R&D center in Russia. It also has offices in the US and China, and is building a new factory in Germany.
The aftermarket Navion it showed at CES projects images 30 feet away from the driver. With its AR display, the roadway lines move along with the car and when navigating, you not only get a destination address but see the destination building. The unit had an OBD2 connection and was powered by a cigarette lighter adapter.
Watch a video of Navion at CES 2018 by J Tech TV.