Turn your smartphone in portrait mode
to consult our site correctly, thank you!
At the beginning of 2019 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Envisics – a technology company based in Milton Keynes – unveiled a holographic head up display (HUD) platform for vehicles.
The company had been operating in ‘stealth’ for around nine years to perfect its technology. However, its roots go back to Cambridge University, where CEO and founder, Dr Jamieson Christmas undertook a PhD between 2004 and 2009.
“I elected to research holography over a very wide range of different topic areas, but the central project I undertook was my PhD thesis which was to try and make holographic displays a reality, understand the problem and move the needle forward,” he says. “At the time the big hype in the market was going to be pico projectors, everyone assumed your cell phone would be able to project a 30-inch picture on the wall and initially that was my target.”
However, the worldwide financial crash in 2008 meant the Alps Group, a Japanese conglomerate that Dr Christmas was working for, decided it was going to retract its engineering operations from the UK. So, with Alps UK’s president Peter Woodland, he created a company, Two Tree Photonics, around the core technology he pioneered at Cambridge.
“The first thing we did was look at the best place to use this technology. Where should we target it?” Dr Christmas explains. “One area that was relatively stable in the wake of the economic shock was the automotive market because it runs such long schedules. From the start of a concept to producing a vehicle takes five years plus, so, a lot of those vehicle designs were in process and they had to continue. They could sustain the higher price points than the commercial markets and the technology had a really strong application in that space. So, we set about converting the technology into a head up display application and we attracted interest from Jaguar Land Rover.