The concept of Metaverse and Roblox, the “First Share of Metaverse” with a market value of over US$40 billion, have become a hot topic for everyone in the venture capital industry in 2021. When it comes to Metaverse, it is natural to return to VR/AR. This industry has been silent for a long time since it was favored by the capital in about 2015. And this year, VR/AR has quietly become a market hotspot again. Zhao Xiaoguang, director of the Tianfeng Securities Research Institute, said that this year’s VR/AR has entered the “early eve” of the outbreak, which is similar to the early stage of Apple’s two outbreaks in 2009 and 2016.
“The domestic AR industry is not very broad, and everyone may be familiar with each other. But the public may not know us well, because we have been focusing on R&D and corporate services in AR optical displays for the past few years, and there is basically no publicity.” Said Cui Haitao, founder of Goolton Technology. “We are a service provider that provides AI+AR overall solutions for the digital transformation of enterprises, based on the research and development of AR core optical display technology.”
In the cutting-edge technology fields of array optical waveguide and holographic optical waveguide, Goolton Technology has the largest number of patent applications in the industry in recent years and the fastest growth. Our projects in the industry have achieved remarkable results, and our reputation is getting better and better. Recently, our company has attracted the attention of secondary market brokerage researchers such as Haitong Securities, Ping An Securities, Minsheng Securities, Guosheng Securities, and Industrial Securities.
Ⅰ. The industry’s most efficient array optical waveguide technology
Simply put, the core technology of Goolton Technology is AI+AR. Among them, AI is responsible for visual recognition and calculation, enhancing the user’s brain. AR is responsible for efficient display and interaction, extending the user’s eyes.
We know that AR glasses for sale need perspective, to see both the real world and virtual information. Compared with VR users directly entering the virtual world, AR needs to superimpose the two worlds of “real” and “virtual”. You can’t put the screen in the eyes, because the closest focusing distance of the human eye is about 10 cm, which requires an additional optical combiner or a group of optical combiners to form a near-eye display. That is, through the form of “stacking”, virtual information and real scenes are integrated, complement each other, and enhance each other.
The optical display system of the AR device is usually composed of a microdisplay screen and optical elements. The difference in optical combiners is a key part of distinguishing AR display systems. It transmits the light to the front of the eye and then releases it through the principle of “total reflection”, projecting a picture with a large viewing angle on a very thin lens. And it can move the display hardware to the top or side of the head, which greatly reduces the obstruction of the optical system to the outside view.
A high-quality waveguide display requires high brightness, a wide field of view, and excellent color effects. As one of AR glasses manufacturers, Goolton Technology pioneered the patented technology of seven-fold and dodecahedron optical machines. We have made the industry’s brightest OLED-based arrayed optical waveguide products, and its light efficiency has an absolute leading edge in the market. Under the same conditions, the display brightness of Goolton’s optical waveguide products can reach 4 to 5 times that of industry peers.
Take the array optical waveguide module M2031 newly launched by Goolton Technology in July as an example. The AR waveguide lens was independently designed by Goolton and has been mass-produced. Its eye brightness can reach 500nit, and the light transmittance exceeds 80%. Compared with similar optical waveguide modules on the market, the M2031 optical module has a larger eye movement range, with an exit pupil distance of 25mm and a module weight of less than 15g. The optical module adopts a side projection method, with low optical distortion and a more compact design, which gives full play to the advantages of the Micro-OLED panel.
Cui Haitao said that because our products have the highest display brightness in the industry, they can be applied to a wider range of B-side scenes. For example, for gunsight, the outdoor environment is bright, and AR glasses must have good near-eye display brightness to see the surrounding environment clearly. Customers generally purchase our products.
Goolton Technology adopts nanomaterials, special film design and high luminous efficiency design of multi-folding optical paths, and is in a leading position in the industry. Goolton Technology has also created a volume holographic diffractive optical waveguide product. Its single-layer multiplexing technology enables a new breakthrough in the thickness of the diffractive waveguide, which is smaller than the three-layer diffractive optical waveguide of Microsoft and the two-layer diffractive optical waveguide of Magic Leap and WaveOptics. More comfortable.
At the level of visual recognition and interaction, Goolton Technology’s augmented reality engine introduces an attention mechanism to achieve target detection and recognition. It achieves millisecond-level recognition for glasses viewing angles, light changes, partial occlusion, industrial objects, etc. After public testing, it is 11.3% higher than traditional algorithms, and there are more than 10,000 types of industrial object recognition.
Ⅱ. The high-level R&D and service team is greatly appreciated by major customers
At present, the team of Goolton Technology has a scale of more than 100 people. The core members of the team are from well-known companies such as Digital China, Cisco, Sunny Optical, and SMIC. Among these members, 40% are Ph. Ds or experts in the technical field. Dr. Deng, Dean of Goolton Research Institute, is an expert in in-depth research on machine vision and SLAM positioning and navigation calculations; Dr. Li Yan, the head of optical research and development, led the conquering of optical waveguide modules A number of key technical problems in development and mass production have been completed, and a number of independent innovation designs have been completed; Yong Haibo, the head of the optical laboratory, is an optical material expert who specializes in the research and development of holographic volume grating optical waveguides.
Goolton Technology and Tsinghua University, Beijing Jiaotong University, Changchun Institute of Optics and Mechanics, Jinan University and other scientific research institutes cooperate very closely in the field of optics. We have the most advanced high-precision nano-level holographic optics laboratory in the industry.
Compared with some entrepreneurial projects that came out of laboratories, Goolton Technology has paid great attention to the implementation of product technology from the beginning of its establishment. The founder Cui Haitao worked at Digital China early in his career and has been dealing with corporate clients. Under the leadership of Cui Haitao, the Goolton Technology team often stays in the customer’s factory, repeatedly asking and listening to the customer’s needs. Starting from the actual needs of front-line workers, the company implemented advanced technology to increase user productivity, such as reducing the daily maintenance of aircraft from 42 minutes to more than ten minutes. Goolton Technology has not only withstood the test of customers, but also invited them to participate in the design of overall solutions for enterprise digital transformation.
The epidemic spread by a large margin last year, which is a big test for any company. Hand-held thermometer equipment cannot meet the demand for a large number of temperature measurements. Goolton Technology developed non-contact temperature measuring glasses in less than a month by relying on the technology of AR glasses with integrated thermal imaging sensors used in the field of industrial product inspection. The product realizes no disturbance in the field, timely temperature measurement, secondary temperature measurement, and mobile inspection.
Goolton Technology continues to be recognized by major customers. In its customer list, there are many government agencies such as China Customs, large state-owned enterprises such as Sinopec, China Southern Power Grid, and Fortune 500 foreign companies such as Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
Ⅲ. Achieve large-scale, high-customization, and mass production firstly, and our next step is to enter the Apple AR industry chain layout.
The investment director of an institution specializing in the VR/AR field said that although some AR glasses in the industry have good performance and look very fashionable, in fact, they are specially designed for investors. For this, even if we invest in supporting its research and development, we cannot judge whether it has mass production capacity in the future.
Goolton Technology has cooperated with many domestic and foreign optical giants and signed strategic agreements. On the one hand, we polished higher-precision processing technology, on the other hand, the production capacity level has been effectively improved, and we are in line with the highest level of quality control standards in the industry.
Cui Haitao said that different industrial scenes usually have strict requirements on the setting of various optical parameters. Although some general-purpose competing products have good technology, it is difficult to adapt. The company should have both core technology research and development, accurate grasp of customer needs and stable mass production capabilities. On the whole, Goolton Technology has a strong comprehensive competitive advantage in high-customization and mass production.
At present, Goolton Technology is one of Sony’s most valued customers in China, and they are very optimistic about Goolton Technology’s development layout in the optical field. According to foreign media reports, it is no surprise that Sony will become the supplier of Apple’s AR glasses OLED displays in the future.
In the field of VR/AR hardware, the trend of global technology giants is the observation standard of the entire industry and investors, and among them, Apple is the core. Many professionals in this field said that although AR forms are different now, just like the first generation of smart phones more than a decade ago, Apple is likely to define the form of smart glasses with AR in the future.
At the just past WWDC2021 conference, Apple released a series of AR software and development platform updates, which paved the way for the launch of AR hardware through the ecological layout. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that AR is “the next big thing.” The famous technology blogger Robert Skober tweeted that he learned that Apple’s VR headset will make its debut at WWDC in 2022.
Facing the market prospects of this industry’s outbreak again, Cui Haitao described the future layout of Goolton Technology in the following words. “Optical technology is all micro and nano processing, and its barriers are very high. Our team will continue to recruit professionals in this area to create core technical barriers. We are now also putting products on domestic and foreign e-commerce platforms, and we continue to learn about global users during the sales process and get feedback in time. In the future, once there is a demand, we will be able to connect with Apple’s supply chain. We provide high-quality technology, and they provide first-class production capacity.”