About us

Changing how you see the world

By designing the world’s best optical engines for AR eyewear

We research, design and develop optical engines for augmented reality smartglasses and headsets. We deliver superior optical performance for affordable mass manufacture.

Optical engines comprise a waveguide and projector. Our waveguide models range from the widest field of view through to the lightest and thinnest available on the market. The waveguides are paired with projectors for maximum design flexibility and image quality and these are DMD, LCoS or MicroLED based.

Proudly part of Snap Inc.

WaveOptics is a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Snap. We continue to support our external customers.

Snap Inc. is a camera company who believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate.

Augmenting Reality

AR wearables, such as smart glasses, enable users to see digital images overlaid on top of the real world. This enhances our vision by enabling us to communicate, collaborate and have fun in new ways

There are two key elements that allow these images to be seen – a light source such as a minute projector and a means of transferring the image from the projector into the user’s eyes. It is critical to create displays that deliver clear, crisp, high quality AR images.


Our Story: WaveOptics was Established

Co-founders Salim Valera, David Grey and Sumanta Talukhdar share a vision to unlock the potential of AR wearables. They conceive of a novel waveguide approach and filed the first patent for exit pupil expansion technology.


Finalist at award attended by HM Queen Elizabeth II

In November our diffractive waveguide was recognised at the prestigious Pitch@Palace technology awards and first investment in innovation secured.


Series B Funding & new CEO

In July Series B funding of $16m was secured with new investor Gobi Partners joining existing investors of Octopus Ventures, IP Group, Hostplus Touchstone and Robert Bosch Venture Capital. Later that year David Hayes was brought in as the new CEO – bringing new AR expertise from DAQRI and 1066 Labs.


First patent granted for Exit Pupil Expanding Waveguide

Listed as “one of the most promising” companies by The Times and profiled by ImmerseUK. The team had grown to 50 people in USA and UK with a new office in Milton Park and a new partnership with Goertek for manufacturing in China.


Customer Partnerships and Series C funding

Leading ODMs announced partnerships with the launch of new products: Pegatron’s AiR glasses as well as Compal and Wistron. The relationship with Goertek was further strengthened when they became investors in the Series C funding round.


We launched the thinnest, lightest waveguide

The thinnest waveguide yet called Katana (1.15mm, 7grams, 30⁰ FOV). It received international acclaim and won the Prism Award for Vision Technologies whilst our business growth was recognised by the Lloyds Business Award. Our team now has over 115 people, including in China and Taiwan.


Our Story: A year of Triumphs!

Recovering from COVID-19, 2021 began with a bang, winning the Prism Award for second year running. We celebrated our 50th published invention and secured new patents for a notched parallelogram. In May, we were acquired by Snap Inc – the biggest AR hardware deal to date.

We make the key components inside smartglasses

Our Customers

The AR market-makers

We predominantly work with global technology companies who aim to develop consumer products. We also support industrial applications for customers with enterprise use cases and partner with leading ODMs.

Read about the Spectacles journey
Knowledge Hub
Popular concepts for AR uses?
Watch this to explore the possibilities for tourism, navigation, instant translation, visual search, flight simulation and connecting!