Google has acquired Raxium, a five-year-old MicroLED display startup that could be critical in developing a new generation of AR, VR, and mixed reality headsets confirmed Google’s Sr. Vice President for Devices and Services, Rick Osterloh. The agreement is said to be worth more than $1 billion, reports The Information.
According to The Verge, “this adds to the evidence that Google’s next big AR move is getting closer: the company previously acquired the glasses company North in 2020, and is reportedly hiring engineers to build an augmented reality operating system.” In January, The Verge also learned that Google Labs is developing an augmented reality headset called “Project Iris.”
According to The Information, which first reported Google’s Raxium acquisition last month, MicroLED technology could be useful for building AR displays that are more energy-efficient than other solutions while still looking colourful, according to The Information. Raxium is also working on “monolithic integration” for MicroLEDs, which, according to The Information, would mean making them out of the same silicon as most processors, potentially lowering the price significantly.
According to Raxium’s website, your phone’s Super AMOLED screen has a pixel pitch (the distance between one pixel’s centre and the centre of a pixel next to it) of around 50 microns, while its MicroLED screen has a pixel pitch of around 3.5 microns. It also claims to have “unprecedented efficiency,” which is more than five times greater than any world record.
In his blog post about future display technologies that Raxium may develop, Osterloh mentioned both the size and efficiency. Raxium will be integrated into the Devices & Services team of Google, and its “technical expertise in this area will play an important role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts,” Osterloh said.