Lemnis Technologies: our journey and what’s next
The team at Lemnis Technologies is embarking on a new adventure. On behalf of the entire company, I would like to thank everyone who supported us throughout this journey!
We’ve loved navigating through the infancy of Virtual and Mixed Reality, and look forward to seeing the XR industry continue to evolve and innovate in the future.
In 2016, the founding team embarked on an ambitious mission: making Virtual Reality viable as the next computing platform. At a time when most of the VR market focused on gaming, concerns grew that visual discomfort and VR sickness would prevent many professional use cases and hold back widespread adoption.
We saw the potential for a transformative technology that could profoundly change the way we work and we live.
At Lemnis Technologies, we focused on addressing a fundamental flaw in existing head-mounted displays: the vergence-accommodation conflict. Well-studied in the academic community but with no practical solutions on the market, this sensory mismatch caused side effects that hinder prolonged use. We knew this was a hard problem; tackling it would require combining visual computing research with technical advances in both software and hardware. It was also incredibly motivating: we felt this had to be solved before VR could have a chance to scale massively for professional use.
To address this challenge, head-mounted displays need to work with the human eye in order to create a more comfortable visual experience.
We built Verifocal: a software+hardware platform for enterprise users who stay in VR for extended periods. Combining eye tracking, adaptive optics, and a custom rendering pipeline, headsets powered by our Verifocal platform dynamically adjust lens focus based on the user’s eye movements in order to reduce eye strain and improve image clarity. This opens new opportunities for applications involving objects within arm’s reach, such as reading a virtual instruction manual or training with hand-based interaction. VR also becomes more accessible: by having their eyeglasses prescription incorporated through dynamic lens adjustment, near-sighted users can finally use headsets comfortably without their spectacles.
We developed a SDK on top of Verifocal platform and made it compatible with leading VR engines. This enables the integration with professional applications for design, training and simulation, that we demonstrated at various conferences and trade shows such as CES, Photonics West, and SIGGRAPH. The valuable industry feedback we gathered eventually led us to lower the barrier of entry to eye tracking in professional settings by developing user-centric calibration, and increase image sharpness in Mixed Reality by pioneering video pass-through with dynamic camera focus.
We learnt a lot along the way by iterating at a fast pace, constantly seeking feedback, and building strong connections in the active XR community. And because we’re scientists, we shared some of our findings, too!
The XR industry has been growing rapidly in the past four years, and many of the fundamental building blocks are being laid out. Today we’re seeing individuals and businesses across the globe engage in XR to design, train, or make decisions. In a pandemic-ridden world where social distancing limits physical interactions, Virtual Reality defies distance and offers safe environments where users can interact, build connection, and work collaboratively. Mixed Reality combines the immersive power of VR with environment awareness and the ability to manipulate the real world, empowering users and extending human capabilities. It now seems inevitable that, for many workflows, XR will offer a superior alternative to commuting or traveling across countries just to meet face-to-face.
I am incredibly proud of what our cross-disciplinary team has accomplished in Singapore, with the backing of Wavemaker Partners and our investors who accompanied us throughout the entire journey. On behalf of the whole team, I heartily thank Entrepreneur First, our partners at Moveon Technologies, and all our advisors who helped amplify our ambitions and focus our efforts.
Moving forward, we are excited to continue tackling phenomenal technical challenges building the next computing platforms, with an even greater impact at an unprecedented scale. We hope you will find the next chapter from the Lemnis Technologies team to be as interesting and meaningful as we do!