Google Picks Up MicroLED Startup Raxium to Drive AR

VR, AR, hardware, google, raxium, microled, acquisition

Google closed its deal to acquire microLED startup Raxium for undisclosed terms in a further push to drive the search giant’s augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) goals.

Launched five years ago by Gordon Wetzstein and Rick Dodd in Silicon Valley, the company specializes in microLED display technologies and has been developing AR and VR wearables and headsets.

“The team at Raxium has spent five years creating miniaturized, cost-effective and energy-efficient high-resolution displays that have laid the foundation for future display technologies. Raxium’s technical expertise in this area will play a key role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts,” Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of devices and services at Google, said in a blog post.

Google first signed a deal to acquire Raxium in March. The use of microLEDs over organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) is expected to grow in popularity for the type of smaller displays used for AR devices. Raxium doesn’t have a commercial product, PYMNTS reported in March.

The search giant was also reportedly seeking talent with experience in augmented reality OS, launched the Project Iris AR headset, and two years ago purchased the company North, a maker of AR glasses.

See also: Google Acquires Micro LED Maker Raxium to Produce AR Displays

Under the acquisition deal, the Raxium team will join Google’s devices and services department. Osterloh added that having Raxium’s talent on board with Google will “help further our goal of building helpful devices and services to improve people’s daily lives.”

A Super AMOLED screen on a typical smartphone has a pixel pitch of about 50 microns; Raxium’s microLED can handle an estimated 3.5 microns, according to its website.

“Materials, process and structure innovation have led to unprecedented efficiency, > 5X greater than the previously published world record,” per its website.

Related: Zuckerberg Hints at Upcoming Wearable AR Controller

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is working on a new smart glasses project in partnership with EssilorLuxottica, which currently sells frames like the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer model — but embedded with tech, enabling the user to take photos and listen to music and calls.

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