WayRay is an up-from-nothing tech start-up in Zurich which deals with holographic augmented reality heads-up display implementation and advancements. The company is currently working on implementing virtual objects being integrated into the driving experience. Because of the future uses of such technology, Porsche has devoted $80 million US dollars to the company as part of their third round of funding, joining other huge investors like Hyundai Motor and Alibaba Group. With these kinds of serious investment numbers being thrown around, WayRay must have shown these investors something seriously impressive.
It’s been said before that Porsche believes in the potential positives of investing in startups, and this isn’t the first major startup investment the company has made in recent years. Porsche calls their innovation platform a “Startup Autobahn”, which allows startups not only to interact and learn from each other, but to work with Porsche engineers on future technology well ahead of time. Based on the video below, it looks like the WayRay unit can be used to help show you things like the proper racing line on your local track. Perhaps this technology can help your weekend track event feel a little bit closer to the heroics of a Forza video game, you know, if that’s what you want.
“The team at WayRay has unique technical expertise, with its employees having backgrounds in aerospace, hardware and software development. WayRay’s innovative ideas and products have proven to have enormous potential. We are convinced that by joining forces with WayRay we will in future be able to offer our customers solutions to the usual standard expected of Porsche. That is why we have opted to make a strategic investment”, says Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche.
WayRay currently has over 250 employees on staff. In addition to their headquarters in Zurich, WayRay also keeps offices in Russia, China, and the US. A production facility is planned for Germany, slated to open next year. While some manufacturers already make use of a head-up display (HUD), this technology takes things to the next level, bringing more information and better visibility to the vehicle’s windscreen. I’m not yet convinced that more information is what we need while driving. Remember when your Porsche’s clock barely worked and your odometer gears would strip out if you tried to reset the trip while in motion? Was that better? Maybe. Time, and WayRay, will tell.