VitreaLab’s Display Tech Earns SPIE Startup Challenge Prize

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BELLINGHAM, Wash., Jan. 26, 2022 — VitreaLab, an Austria-based startup company that develops display technology using glass-based waveguides, is the winner of the $10,000 top prize at the 12th annual SPIE Startup Challenge, announced Jan. 25 at Photonics West in San Francisco. The company’s laser-lit chip focuses on the 2D and 3D display market. The technology enables more power-efficient displays.

Quantopticon, a designer of simulation software for quantum photonic hardware manufacturers, received the second-place, $5,000 prize. Luminess came in third, winning $2,500, with its versatile platform for safer, more sensitive, and more reliable x-ray medical imaging.

Jonas Zeuner of VitreaLab, center, is joined onstage by Jenoptik's Song Yop Chung, left, and Ralf Kuschnereit, right. VitreaLab's display technology using glass-based waveguides was recognized at the 12th annual SPIE Startup Challenge as the company took the top prize of $10,000. Courtesy of SPIE.
Jonas Zeuner of VitreaLab (center) is joined onstage by Jenoptik’s Song Yop Chung (left) and Ralf Kuschnereit. VitreaLab’s display technology, which uses glass-based waveguides, was recognized at the 12th annual SPIE Startup Challenge. The company took the top prize of $10,000. Courtesy of SPIE.
VitreaLab’s technology can replace the standard backlight unit of an LCD. The substitution ensures that each subpixel is supplied by a dedicated light source with correct color, polarization, and angular distribution, which significantly enhances the LCD’s performance in terms of energy efficiency, brightness, contrast ratio, and color rendering. By exploiting the coherence and phase stability of VitreaLab PICs, the backlighting problem of holographic displays can be solved.

The technology enables photonics products by writing waveguides in glass, based on a laser-writing technology. VitreaLab’s laser-lit chip supports full holographic display. Applications for the technology span the medical, sensing, and telecommunications sectors.

The SPIE Startup Challenge, which showcases new businesses, products, and technologies that address critical needs with photonics, is supported by founding partner Jenoptik; lead sponsors MKS Instruments, Hamamatsu, Edmund Optics, and Thorlabs; and strategic partners Allianse and NextCorps’ Luminate. Judges from across the industry vet applicants for their business models, financial cases, and competitive advantages. This year’s judges included Innovation Acceleration Capital’s Darius Sankey, Edmund Optics’ Greg Hollows, Fusion Fund’s Homan Yuen, Anchored In’s Ian Tracey, Jenoptik’s Song Yop Chung, and Genoa Ventures’ Bill Hyun. Cash prizes are provided by Jenoptik.

In addition, as part of the overall SPIE Startup Challenge program, four companies in the process of fundraising — Fastree3D, Raydiant Oximetry, Stratio Inc., and UbiQD — presented their new technologies to prospective investors.

Published: January 2022
SPIESPIE Startup ChallengePhotonics WestwaveguidesOpticsJenoptikstartupfundingDisplaysLEDsLight SourcesVitreaLabSPIE Photonics West 2022

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