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eMaculaTM is a wearable display system that includes patented disposable soft contact lenses (“smart lenses”) and a range of display eyewear (“smart glasses”). This combination system allows us to meet a wearer’s parallel demand for lightweight, stylish eyewear and access to high-quality media. The eMacula micro-lens optics enable high-resolution display eyewear with more than a 100-degree field of view.
Many companies have attempted to incorporate large conventional optics into even larger headsets or to employ challenging waveguide nanotechnology and electronics to deliver useful display eyewear. Their struggle has derailed forecasted growth of AR/VR. Heavy, obtrusive and hot headsets -- or eyewear with a narrow display -- can negatively impact a wearer's viewing experience. Innovega’s proprietary contact lens and eyewear designs help overcome challenges that historically prevented the advent of lightweight, stylish, high-performance display eyewear.
Our business model allows established contact lens manufacturers to deliver our smart lenses to the market. Our model also provides for multiple manufacturing and distribution partners to commercialize our display eyewear configured for many applications or use cases. Discussions are underway with prospective partners that are strategically positioned for various applications.
Innovega has an opportunity to license its broad patent portfolio and trade secrets, to control supply of key components, and to commercialize its “know-how” to contact lens manufacturers and display eyewear partners around the world. Our patented portfolio of Enhanced Retina Technologies covers the system of contact lenses and smart glasses and key sub-systems including eye tracking. These innovations are protected by Innovega’s twenty-six filed patent applications, thirteen granted U.S. patents and trade secrets relating to lens-processing-based nanotechnology.
PRODUCT AND APPLICATIONS
CEOs at the world’s largest companies describe virtual reality and augmented reality as key enablers of a fundamental shift in how we will interact with media and computing. According to IDC, total spending on AR/VR products and services is expected to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion 2021, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 113.2%.
Today’s VR users must wear a box-like display that separates them from their surroundings and from other humans. Wearers of AR headsets view either a small window of digital media placed over their environment, or a larger window of media at the cost of wearing a bulky helmet. We believe that neither solution meets the needs or expectations of today’s technology consumer. We believe VR and AR displays must look and feel like conventional eyewear and deliver access to personalized, high-quality, panoramic content for these markets to grow at forecasted rates.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has a clear vision for his two billion customers: “We all want glasses, or eventually contact lenses, that look and feel normal but let us overlay all kinds of information and digital objects on top of the real world (2017 Facebook F8 Conference Keynote).” His Chief Scientist and industry thought leader, Michael Abrash, also believes that VR and AR technology will be one of the “great transformational technologies of the next 50 years.” They envision a world in which, instead of carrying smartphones everywhere, we’ll be using stylish AR/VR glasses in every aspect of our lives. This same sentiment has been echoed by management teams at Apple, Microsoft and others.
Innovega has patented and fabricated eye-borne optics that incorporate a powerful micro-lens and light-polarizing filters. These modern contact lenses are matched to lightweight digital eyewear. As a system, they deliver unprecedented performance and style. We were contracted to design and deliver the original eMacula lenses and glasses to meet specifications set by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and to be suitable for wear by combatants and other service personnel.
More than 60% of people in the U.S. require vision correction. It’s more than 70% in China. Our patented eye-borne optics automatically correct real-world vision while simultaneously delivering digital media that is always in focus. The field of view of this media is two to three times wider than that of current generation display glasses. This means that wearers can experience 50-, 70-, or even a 110-degree field of view at ultra-high resolution from smart glasses that are lightweight, stylish and obstruction-free.
Innovega competed for and won more than $5.7 million in profitable contracts and grants from government agencies. Its lenses and eyewear were tested for DARPA, the National Science Foundation, and the National Eye Institute (National Institutes of Health). We’ve also collaborated with a global provider of designer eyewear. Our largest investor is Tencent, one of the largest video game companies in the world.
We will provide our strategic partners with opportunities to participate in AR/VR markets which analysts forecast will double each year of the coming decade. We are excited to collaborate with the Crowdfunder team to accept (1) further investments from almost 150 existing Innovega "ambassadors" and (2) investments from Crowdfunder’s community of intelligent investors who seek opportunities to participate in advance of a company's commercial phase.
MARKET LANDSCAPE AND OPPORTUNITIES
Opportunities for our patented smart lenses and glasses include:
Visually impaired patient markets: (also referred to as low vision, or partially sighted, and extending to legally-blind patients whose corrected vision measures worse than 20/200). Total Available Markets (TAM) include 5M patients in NA, an additional 5M in UK/Europe, and more than 5M in East Asia. Innovega forecasts Served and Available Markets (SAM) of 500K patients for each of these 3 geographies. This is a large, underserved, and growing community of individuals who have lost their usual lifestyle. Vision-assistance devices for such individuals are typically non-mobile (including home-bound, desk-top camera magnifiers) and offer limited performance. Wearable displays are bulky and deliver a narrow view of their surroundings to the user. Management believes it would be possible to penetrate 10% of each market SAM after five years of sales activity (based on the accepted Bass-diffusion model). Other potential patient markets appear to exist, to include aids for the hearing impaired and those suffering from autism.
Consumer markets: A Boston-based consulting team evaluated market opportunities for video gaming, athletic training, media and information delivery. As many as 20% of Millennials already wear contact lenses and this group is reported to spend at least six hours per day using electronic media devices. General market forecasts describe annual sales that will exceed more than one million units.
Vertical markets: Other non-consumer, so-called vertical markets include factory workers, warehousing, oil and gas industries, healthcare professionals including surgical visualization and horizontal markets for training and education. The Innovega model allows us to support strategic customers who may wish to commercialize our system for these markets and capitalize on its unique performance advantages.
Raised more than $3 Million with new investors
Accelerated supply-chain development and development of key fabrication processes
Contracted multiple phases of pre-FDA independent testing of lenses and glasses, to include testing by visually impaired patients
Developed three working eyewear configurations (Immersive/VR; AR; Mobility)
Expanded patent filings in non-U.S. geographies; foundational patent granted in Europe
Secured IRB approval to enable live demonstration of Gen IV lenses and glasses
Experimental Proof of Eyestrain Management for Augmented and Virtual RealitySeptember, 2019
Innovega Gains Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval for On-Eye Testing: https://www.emacula.io/Content/pdfs/Innovega-IRB-July-2019.pdfJuly, 2019
Closed $1M First Phase of approved $5M Bridge InvestmentApril, 2019
Filed 26 U.S. Patent Applications (plus related International Applications). High percentage of approval and grant by U.S. Patent OfficeDecember, 2018
Closed 2018 Investment of $2 MillionJune, 2018
Tested Key Elements of Commercial Supply Chain; Fabricated Soft Disposable Display LensesJanuary, 2018
Completed four Phase II Independent Clinical TrialsDecember, 2017
Secured $5.5M Revenue from DARPA, U.S. ARMY and NSFDecember, 2016
Closed a TENCENT-led, $3.5 Million InvestmentDecember, 2016