Google Invests in Wearable Display Company Himax Display


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Himax Display (HDI) this week announced that Google has agreed to purchase a portion of its company. HDI is a Taiwanese manufacturer of micro-display (liquid crystal on silicon) technology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Google will acquire 6.3% of HDI, with the option to purchase up to 14.8% in preferred shares over the next year. According to HDI, the investment will be used to pay for production upgrades, expand its manufacturing capacity, and "expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities at HDI's facilities that produce liquid crystal on silicon chips and modules used in applications including head‐mounted display (HMD) such as Google Glass, head‐up display (HUD), and pico‐projector products." Google's investment is expected to be finalized sometime during the third quarter 2013.

Much of HDI's display technology has been engineered with wearable computing applications in mind. In this context, Google's investment in HDI to improve its manufacturing capabilities suggests that a production run of Google Glass could be coming in the near future.

“We are delighted to receive this investment and to form a strategic partnership with Google,” said Jordan Wu, CEO of Himax. “Beginning the second quarter of this year, we had already begun expanding capacity to meet demand for our LCOS product line. This investment from Google further validates our commitment to developing breakthrough technologies and state‐of‐the‐art production facilities. We look forward to leveraging this investment and our collective expertise withGoogle to create unique and transformational LCOS technologies for many years ahead.”