Google buys Raxium, a startup making displays for augmented reality - The UpStream

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Google buys Raxium, a startup making displays for augmented reality

posted Friday Mar 18, 2022 by Scott Ertz

Google buys Raxium, a startup making displays for augmented reality

Google has made another acquisition in the augmented reality space, this time buying Raxium, a startup focused on making displays for augmented reality. This move signals Google's renewed interest in the augmented reality space, after giving up on its virtual reality ambitions last year. Raxium is a five-year-old startup that has made impressive strides in the field of augmented reality displays. The terms of the deal are unknown, but Google reportedly put a value of $1 billion on Raxium, according to The Information.

Google's AR and VR past

Google Glass

Google Glass was one of Google's earliest forays into the world of augmented reality. The product was met with mixed reviews, with many people finding the idea of an AR headset to be intrusive and uncomfortable. Google eventually pulled the plug on Glass, but it seems that the company has not given up on AR altogether. With its acquisition of Raxium, Google is once again showing its interest in the potential of augmented reality.

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard was Google's entry into the world of virtual reality. The product was a low-cost way to experience VR, and it was surprisingly popular. The platform was eventually succeeded by Google Daydream, with the Cardboard platform being eventually open sourced.

Google Daydream

Google Daydream was the company's most recent attempt at VR, and it was met with more success than Cardboard. Daydream was a high-end VR platform that offered a better experience than Cardboard. However, Google discontinued Daydream in 2019. Shortly after Google VR was shuttered entirely, signaling its shift in focus to augmented reality.

Raxium's technology

Raxium's MicroLED displays are some of the most advanced in the industry. The startup has managed to miniaturize the LEDs used in traditional display technology, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities for augmented reality applications. What remains to be seen is how Google plans to use Raxium's technology. The most likely scenario is that Google will use it to improve its existing AR products, such as Google Glass. However, it's also possible that the company could use Raxium's technology to create entirely new products. Either way, this acquisition is a big win for Google in the augmented reality space.

Google isn't the only one interested in Raxium's technology. The startup had reportedly been in talks with Apple and Facebook before being acquired by Google. It's possible that we'll see Raxium's technology used in future products from these companies as well. For now, though, it seems that Google has taken the lead in this area.

Raxium is just one piece of Google's AR puzzle

Google's renewed interest in augmented reality is evident in its recent acquisitions. In addition to Raxium, the company has also acquired Owlchemy Labs and Makani Technologies. These companies are all working on different aspects of AR, and together they give Google a well-rounded portfolio of AR technology. With these acquisitions, it's clear that Google is serious about making a splash in the world of augmented reality.

The biggest challenge facing Google in the AR space is the negative perception of Google Glass. The product was met with a lot of criticism, and it's going to be tough for Google to overcome that. However, if anyone can do it, Google can. The company has a lot of resources and a history of success in other areas. If it can apply those same principles to augmented reality, there's no reason why it can't be successful.

Only time will tell whether Google's renewed interest in augmented reality will pay off. However, the company is certainly making all the right moves. With its acquisitions of Raxium, Owlchemy Labs, and Makani Technologies, Google has assembled a strong team of AR experts. Now it just needs to figure out how to use that talent to create products that people will actually want to use.

What do you think?

Do you think Google's renewed interest in augmented reality is a good thing? Are you excited to see what the company does with Raxium's technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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