Distance Technologies Launch 2024

Glasses free XR from Distance Technologies emerges from stealth

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Distance Technologies has offered the briefest of glimpses of its glasses-free eXtended Reality (XR) technology, capable of transforming ‘virtually any transparent surface’ into a window for XR.

With an initial focus on automotive, aerospace, and defense markets, the Distance prototype transforms virtually any transparent surface into a window for extended reality. Using a computer-generated 3D light field that seamlessly mixes with the real world, Distance says its technology offers ‘flawless’ per-pixel depth covering the entire field of view for maximum immersion – and is completely non-reliant on anything worn on the user’s face or body.

Led by ex-Varjo co-founder Urho Konttori, and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, the company has already raised $2.7M in its pre-seed round.

Current uses include integration into automotive and advanced aeronautics systems, with a technology demonstrator reportedly under evaluation by several automotive OEMs – including KIA – for potential use in both windshields and windows.

According to Distance Technologies, the content is seen in a natural manner due to its per-pixel optical depth capability. All of this is achieved without a headset, a phone, a pin, a device or glasses, and all without eyestrain.

The XR is said to include a wide range of situational analyses and information unique and specific to that location or geospatial coordinate – all appearing ‘completely natural and in situ’. Distance technology is designed to also tie-in to a wide range of AI language models and search engines as the means to produce true ‘Contextual AI’ and represents the next generation of XR experience available to a mainstream audience.

“There are very few moments in your life where you have the opportunity to ‘bottle lightning’,” said CEO Konttori. “I had the privilege of doing it once as co-founder of Varjo with the first human-eye resolution XR headset and now I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to do it again with the Distance platform – and perhaps in an even more transformative way.”

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“I have every belief that we are creating a nexus point where true Mixed Reality without headsets or glasses becomes ubiquitous and that visual AI has the potential to reach everyone on this planet. At Kia, we are dedicated to automotive innovation, crafting movement and experiences that inspire,” said Thomas Unterluggauer, manager visualisation, KIA Europe Gm

“The impact of their technology, which has the potential to transform the driving experience without the need for headsets or glasses, aligns well to Kia’s ongoing explorations into the future – a new era of in-car user-centric and fully immersive experiences that reshape the way we move. As a Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider, Kia is looking forward to delivering new possibilities and experiences to our customers, and we’re excited to see how these new technologies can help us do that.”