Metalenz Launches Polar ID Enabling Simple, Secure Face Unlock for Smartphones
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Metalenz Launches Polar ID, Enabling Simple, Secure Face Unlock for Smartphones

Metalenz Launches Polar ID, Enabling Simple, Secure Face Unlock for Smartphones

  •  The world’s first polarization sensor for smartphones, Polar ID provides ultra-secure facial authentication in a condensed footprint, lowering implementation cost and complexity.
  •  Now demonstrated on Qualcomm Technologies’ latest Snapdragon mobile platform, Polar ID is poised to drive large-scale adoption of secure face unlock across the Android ecosystem.

Boston, MA – October 26, 2023 Meta-optics industry leader Metalenz unveiled Polar ID, a revolutionary new face unlock solution, at Qualcomm Technologies’ annual Snapdragon Summit this week. Being the world’s only consumer-grade imaging system that can sense the full polarization state of light, Polar ID enables the next level of biometric security. Using breakthrough advances in meta-optic capability, Polar ID accurately captures the unique “polarization signature” of a human face. With this additional layer of information, even the most sophisticated 3D masks and spoof instruments are immediately detected as non-human.

Facial authentication provides a seamless method for unlocking phones and allowing digital payment. However, to make the solution sufficiently secure requires expensive, bulky, and often power-hungry optical modules. Historically, this has limited the implementation of face unlock to only a few high-end phone models. Polar ID  harnesses meta-optic technology to extract additional information such as facial contour details and to detect human tissue liveness from a single image. It is significantly more compact and cost effective than incumbent “Structured Light” face authentication solutions which require an expensive dot-pattern projector and multiple images.

Now demonstrated on a smartphone reference design powered by the new Snapdragon® 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform, Polar ID has the efficiency, footprint, and price point to enable any Android smartphone OEM to bring the convenience and security of face unlock to the 100s of millions of mobile devices that currently use fingerprint sensors.

“Size, cost, and performance, those are the key metrics in the consumer industry”, said Rob Devlin, Metalenz CEO & Co-founder. “Polar ID offers an advantage in all three. Its small enough to fit in the most challenging form factors, eliminating the need for a large notch in the display. Its secure enough that it doesn’t get fooled by the most sophisticated 3D masks. Its substantially higher resolution than existing facial authentication solutions, so even if you’re wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask, the system still works. As a result, Polar ID delivers secure facial recognition at less than half the size and cost of incumbent solutions.”

“With each new generation of our flagship Snapdragon 8 series, our goal is to deliver the next generation of cutting-edge smartphone imaging capabilities to consumers. Our advanced Qualcomm® Spectra™ ISP and Qualcomm® Hexagon™ NPU were specifically designed to enable complex new imaging solutions, and we are excited to work with Metalenz to support their new Polar ID biometric imaging solution on our Snapdragon mobile platform for the first time,” said Judd Heape, VP of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

“Polar ID is a uniquely powerful biometric imaging solution that combines our polarization image sensor with post-processing algorithms and sophisticated machine learning models to reliably and securely recognize and authenticate the phone’s registered user. Working closely with Qualcomm Technologies to implement our solution on their reference smartphone powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, we were able to leverage the advanced image signal processing capabilities of the Qualcomm Spectra ISP while also implementing mission critical aspects of our algorithms in the secure framework of the Qualcomm Hexagon NPU, to ensure that the solution is not only spoof-proof but also essentially unhackable” said Pawel Latawiec, CTO of Metalenz. “The result is an extremely fast and compute efficient face unlock solution ready for OEMs to use in their next generation of Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-powered flagship Android smartphones.”

Polar ID is under early evaluation with several top smartphone OEMs, and additional evaluation kits will be made available in early 2024. Metalenz will exhibit its revolutionary Polar ID solution at MWC Barcelona and is now booking meetings to showcase a live demo of the technology to mobile OEMs.

Contact sales@metalenz.com to reserve your demo.

About Metalenz

Qualcomm, Snapdragon, Hexagon, and Spectra are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States or other counties.

Snapdragon, Qualcomm Hexagon, and Qualcomm Spectra are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Press inquiries

media@metalenz.com

Event logo black and red. Mobile World Congress
Featured Event
02 | 26 | 2024

MWC Barcelona

Event logo black and red. Mobile World Congress

MWC Barcelona

Details:

Hall 2 Stand #2L4MR

Metalenz will exhibit its revolutionary Polar ID solution at MWC Barcelona and is now booking meetings to showcase a live demo of the technology to mobile OEMs. Contact sales@metalenz.com to reserve your demo.  
Date: February 26 – 29, 2024
Location: Barcelona

Metalenz and Vertilite Unveil “Starlight” Projector for Structured Light Applications Using a New Meta-Optic

Metalenz and Vertilite Unveil "Starlight" Projector for Structured Light Applications using a New Meta-Optic

 

  • The Starlight projector is based on Metalenz’ new “Orion 18K” pseudorandom dot pattern meta-optic paired with Vertilite’s proven single-junction “Dolphin” VCSEL.
  • “Orion 18K” meta-optics brings unique advantages to the structured light sensing market, including lowest module height in the industry, highest dot contrast, seamless and precise dot pattern, part-to-part repeatability, and suitability for reflow.
  • Applications include face authentication for smartphones, contactless access control, security, gesture recognition, obstacle avoidance, and automotive in-cabin monitoring.
Starlight structured light dot projector

Boston, MA and Changzhou, China September 5, 2023 – Leading meta-optics provider Metalenz and VCSEL supplier Vertilite, announced their cooperation on a new, open market structured light projector at the CIOE tradeshow in Shenzhen, China. The Starlight projector consists of a new, wide field pseudorandom dot pattern meta-optic from Metalenz (“Orion 18K”) paired with a pseudorandom VCSEL from Vertilite (“Dolphin”). The Starlight projector is the most compact, high performance, low cost structured light solution available for 3D sensing systems, catering to a range of applications including face authentication for smartphones, contactless access control, security, gesture recognition, obstacle avoidance, and automotive in-cabin monitoring. 

The Starlight projector generates ~18,000 dots in a pseudorandom pattern at 940nm, using the Orion 18k meta-optic to collimate and diffract the light coming from 391 VCSEL emitters arranged in a pseudorandom array. The Orion 18k meta-optic dot pattern provides class leading power per dot with high contrast, making it suitable for use under any indoor/outdoor lighting conditions. Additionally, the Orion 18K meta-optic provides superior pattern precision, a very large field of illumination and is reflowable and stable at extended operating temperatures. Vertilite’s Dolphin, a 1.5 watt 940nm pseudorandom pattern VCSEL array, is an ideal solution for structured light and active stereo vision 3D sensing applications. View STARLIGHT Sellsheet.

“We are excited to launch the Starlight structured light projector together with Vertilite. The unique performance advantages of our meta-optics combined with the power and efficiency of Vertilite’s VCSEL create a structured light projector that is available to any OEM or system integrator to bring better, brighter, 3D sensing solutions to market.” Lars Johnsson, VP of Product, Sales, and Marketing, Metalenz.

“We are delighted to partner with leading metasurface optics supplier Metalenz to deliver a new Structured Light projector that provides superior performance and is ready for worry-free integration. We believe the Starlight projector will further accelerate our market share growth in areas like biometric authentication, contactless access control, and robotics.” Ryan Rao, CPO, Vertilite.

Learn more about Orion family of pattern projectors

About Metalenz 

Metalenz, founded in 2016, is the first company to commercialize meta-optics. With an exclusive worldwide license to the portfolio of foundational intellectual property relating to metasurfaces developed in the Capasso Lab at Harvard University, Metalenz has more than 20 patents on innovations that simplify and improve optical devices across multiple markets. The company’s metasurface technology provides complex, multifunctional optical performance in a single semiconductor layer, relocating large-scale production of optics to semiconductor foundries—printing lenses like computer chips. Following the successful June 2022 debut of its metasurface optics in time-of-flight systems for the consumer electronics market via a partnership with STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), and a $30 million series B funding round announced in October 2022, the company continues to grow with millions of its metasurface optics now in the market. A fabless company focused on design, Metalenz has recently announced a manufacturing partnership with United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC), creating a direct supply chain for mass production of its meta-optics on the open market. 

About Vertilite 

Vertilite Co., Ltd. was founded in 2015. It is an innovative optoelectronic semiconductor company dedicated to providing high-power and high-frequency vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) solutions for global customers. Vertilite focuses on the R&D and manufacturing of VCSEL chips, modules, and other products. Vertilite’s high-quality product portfolio covers consumer electronics, automotive electronics, optical communications, and other fields. 

Metalenz and Dilusense Partner to Revolutionize the Optics and Performance of Structured Light Sensing Systems

Metalenz and Dilusense Partner to Revolutionize the Optics and Performance of Structured Light Sensing Systems

  • Next-generation Smartlock and Payment Kiosk systems from Dilusense leverage the first mass-produced, structured light meta-optic from Metalenz, which can bring users an optimum experience.
  • The “Orion” meta-optic dot projector by Metalenz enables an improved structured light pattern with over 30,000 precise laser dots to enhance the biometric recognition performance of Dilusense’s 3D sensing systems.

Boston, MA and HeFei, China, July 10, 2023 – Metalenz, the world leader in metasurface optics, and leading Chinese 3D sensing system supplier Dilusense, today announced that they have partnered to bring the unrivaled performance and small form factor of Metalenz meta-optics to the next generation of Smartlocks and Payment Kiosks to enable ultra-secure facial recognition. The Smartlocks are designed for high-end residential and commercial building access solutions, and the Payment Kiosks will be used by retailers and in vending machines across China, enabling ultra-secure biometric facial authentication in compact form factors.

Next-generation Smartlock and Payment Kiosk systems from Dilusense leverage the first mass-produced, structured-light meta-optic from Metalenz.

Secure facial authentication solutions use traditional cameras to recognize a user’s face, and then take an additional 3D infrared image to authenticate the user against pre-registered biometric credentials. Using structured light, the 3D sensing system creates a point cloud made up of more than 30,000 individual dots and then measures pattern distortion to compute facial contours unique to everyone. As the optical sensor in this system, Metalenz’s “Orion” meta-optic dot projector delivers unparalleled dot-contrast, pattern precision, and diffraction efficiency, improving the performance and increasing the security of the system.

The new generation of Dilusense’s 3D sensing solutions provides secure and accurate biometric recognition performance, as well as convenient access. The meta-optics are custom-designed by Metalenz and are mass-produced by UMC in its 12″ wafer fab in Singapore as part of Metalenz’s newly established direct-to-OEM supply chain.

“As one of the most innovative 3D sensing system suppliers for IoT devices and consumer electronics, we continuously invest in product development, focusing on safety, efficiency, and technological innovation,” said Shi Lei, VP of Product, Sales, and Marketing at Dilusense. “Our partnership with Metalenz combines their optical technology with our full-stack product development capabilities to bring the market our most advanced 3D sensing solutions.”

“We are thrilled to have Dilusense, one of the world’s leading 3D sensing solution providers, as our first OEM customer to leverage the unique performance of metasurface optics,” said Lars Johnsson, VP of Product, Sales, and Marketing at Metalenz. “The partnership between Dilusense and Metalenz heralds a new era in 3D sensing as it is the first time that the breakthrough capabilities of metasurface optics are commercialized in 3D structured light sensing systems, and this milestone will accelerate the proliferation of our meta-optics in the growing 3D sensing market.”

About Metalenz

Metalenz, founded in 2016, is the first company to commercialize meta-optics. With an exclusive worldwide license to the portfolio of foundational intellectual property relating to metasurfaces developed in the Capasso Lab at Harvard University, Metalenz has more than 20 patents on innovations that simplify and improve optical devices across multiple markets. The company’s metasurface technology provides complex, multifunctional optical performance in a single semiconductor layer, relocating large-scale production of optics to semiconductor foundries—printing lenses like computer chips. Following the successful June 2022 debut of its metasurface optics in time-of-flight systems for the consumer electronics market via a partnership with STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), and a $30 million series B funding round announced in October 2022, the company continues to grow with millions of its metasurface optics now in the market. A fabless company focused on design, Metalenz has recently announced a manufacturing partnership with United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC), creating a direct supply chain for mass production of its meta-optics on the open market.

About Dilusense

Dilusense, founded in 2015, is one of the most innovative 3D sensing system suppliers for IoT devices and consumer electronics. As the first 3D vision full-stack technology enterprise to research and open up “perception + algorithm” in China, the company has highly independent and controllable intellectual property rights. Dilusense boasts the globally leading position in the five core technology directions of 3D structured light sensors, 3D face recognition, 3D target reconstruction measurement, dynamic 3D portrait capture and analysis, interactive and virtual digital humans. The core technologies and products have been deeply applied in financial security payment, intelligent door lock, rail transit, border inspection, security, and other industries, achieving large-scale applications. Dilusense is committed to the full-stack technology research of 3D sensing AI solutions.

Media coverage
07|10|2023

Metalenz partners up to commercialize 3D facial recognition locks and payment kiosks

Metalenz Launches its Metasurface Optics on the Open Market in Partnership with UMC

Metalenz Launches its Metasurface Optics on the Open Market in Partnership with UMC

  •     Metalenz has won several 3D depth sensing designs for its metasurface optics with leading OEMs in Asia.
  •    UMC has released Metalenz’s metasurface manufacturing process to production in its 12-inch wafer fab in Singapore.
  •   First commercial end-product shipments from OEMs begin Q3’23.

Boston, MA – June 26, 2023– Metalenz, the world leader in metasurface optics, today announced it has partnered with leading semiconductor foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (NYSE: UMC; TWSE: 2303) (“UMC”) to release its direct supply chain to mass production and bring the unrivaled scale and precision of semiconductor manufacturing to the optics industry. The announcement marks the launch of metasurface optics on the open market for the first time and follows multiple design wins for Metalenz with leading OEMs in Asia.

“After initially designing meta-optics in partnership with one of the leading suppliers of 3D sensing solutions, we are now engaged with OEMs directly to bring the benefits of metasurface optics to their 3D sensing applications. By partnering with a world-class foundry like UMC, we gain the manufacturing capabilities, expertise, and global reach to serve customers interested in adopting our meta-optics technology,” said Rob Devlin, Co-founder, and CEO of Metalenz. “This will further accelerate our growth as we are becoming the leading provider of precision optics for 3D sensing solutions.”

 “Our state-of-the art 12-inch facilities and decades of experience in semiconductor manufacturing has made us the foundry partner of choice for some of the most advanced fabless semiconductor companies in the world. Our expertise and scale will enable Metalenz to effortlessly scale up production to meet the growing demand for its meta-optics products,” said Raj Verma, Associate Vice President of Technology Development at UMC. “In the more-than-Moore era, UMC is focused on strengthening our specialty technology leadership to enable a wide range of 5G, IoT, and automotive applications. This collaboration will enable UMC to expand our offering into meta-optics and play a pioneering role in delivering this disruptive imaging technology to market.”

Metalenz partners with UMC

The partnership between Metalenz and UMC is expected to yield significant benefits for both companies and their customers. Metalenz’s meta-optic technology has the potential to revolutionize the field of optics, enabling the design of smaller, lighter, and more efficient optical systems. With the manufacturing capabilities provided by UMC, Metalenz will be able to accelerate the development of its meta-optic products and bring them to market more quickly as a direct supplier to OEMs.

The first designs to go through the newly established supply chain will be for Chinese OEM, Dilusense.

“As one of the most innovative suppliers of 3D sensing systems for IoT devices and consumer electronics we have been looking for better optics for years. We are excited to work with Metalenz, as their metasurface technology enables new optical form-factors and performance that will further differentiate some of our most advanced 3D sensing AI solutions.” Hu Lei, Dilusense Founder and CEO

About Metalenz

About UMC

Press contact

Carly Glovinski

Marketing Manager, Metalenz

carly.glovinski@metalenz.com

Media Coverage
07|05|2023

Metalenz Pioneers High Volume Semiconductor Foundry-Based Lens Manufacturing

Metalenz Relocates Headquarters, Doubles Footprint, and Grows Team to Meet Increasing Demand for its Metasurface Optics

Metalenz Relocates Headquarters, Doubles Footprint, and Grows Team to Meet Increasing Demand for its Metasurface Optics

Newly expanded headquarters and workforce follows an oversubscribed series B and growing demand from the consumer electronics market.

Boston, MA – March 13, 2023 – Metalenz, the first company to commercialize metasurface optics, today announced they have moved their headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, more than doubling the Company’s footprint. The move comes after adding key personnel and equipment to its design and engineering teams. Metalenz now employs a full-time team of >40.

We have fostered a terrific company culture here at Metalenz, and our new headquarters will provide an ideal collaborative environment for our growing team as we continue to see increasing demand for our metasurface optics.  The relocation to a much larger space and expansion of our design, engineering, and project management teams will accelerate our roadmap, support our supply chain, and speed the productization of our metasurface optics and our breakthrough polarization imaging platform, PolarEyes in fast growing 3D sensing applications for improved machine vision, secure user identification, and next generation depth sensing and gesture recognition.” Rob Devlin, co-founder, and CEO of Metalenz.

With more than half of its employees focused on the design and engineering of the Company’s proprietary meta-optic solutions, the new space will house an expanded engineering lab to ramp production of custom NIR meta-optics and customer evaluation kits based on rapidly increasing demand. 

Following the successful June 2022 debut of its metasurface optics in time-of-flight systems for the consumer electronics market via a partnership with semiconductor giant, STMicroelectronics, and a $30 million series B funding round led by Neotribe Ventures announced in October 2022, the company continues to grow with millions of its metasurface optics now in market. Most recently, the Company’s PolarEyes™, a mobile form factor polarization imaging system, was recognized with a Prism Award in Cameras and Imaging from SPIE.

Metalenz Wins 2023 Prism Award

Metalenz Wins 2023 Prism Award

Metalenz’s “PolarEyes™” Polarization Imaging Platform takes home the prestigious award from SPIE in the Cameras and Imaging category.

San Francisco, CA – SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, recognized the most innovative new optics and photonics products with the annual industry-focused Prism Awards. Metalenz was named winner of the Camera and Imaging category for PolarEyes, the Company’s breakthough polarization imaging platform designed around the unique capabilities of Metalenz meta-optics.

PolarEyes is the world’s first and only optical module that can instantly provide information about the material make-up and depth details of the imaged scene, thereby providing highly valuable, previously unavailable information to machine vision systems.

Traditional approaches to polarization imaging require a complex array of optics, waveplates and filters, resulting in modules that are too large, expensive, and inefficient for mass markets or small form-factor devices. Dr. Noah Rubin and Professor Federico Capasso demonstrated in foundational research that a single meta-optic can complete image all of the polarization information in a scene without filtering or loss of efficiency. Now, the team at Metalenz has productized this breakthrough with PolarEyes. The result is a full-Stokes polarization camera that is over 5000x more compact than traditional cameras. This brings powerful lab camera capabilities into tiny camera modules that fit into any smart or mobile device. More than a polarized meta-optic, this full-stack, system-level solution combines physics and optics, software and hardware to power machine vision systems for next-generation smartphones and consumer electronics, to new automotive, robotic and healthcare applications.

“We are honored to have this recognition from SPIE and the photonics community. With PolarEyes, we are using our metasurface technology to look beyond just solving size and performance in existing sensor modules. We are empowering billions of devices with new information that will change the way that people and machines interact with and understand the world.” Rob Devlin, Metalenz Co-founder and CEO.

Members of the Metalenz team celebrate the win during the Prism Award banquet in San Francisco

Now in its 15th year, the SPIE Prism Awards reflect the rapidly growing trajectory, exciting latest developments, and rich technical innovations across photonics and photonics-enabled industries. Finalists and winners were selected by a panel of international judges who leveraged their knowledge and acumen from across the technology commercialization and funding sectors. Below is the complete list of the award categories, the winners, and their winning products:

  • AR VR MR: TriLite Technologies, Trixel® 3
  • Biomedical: Philophos, KUOS-O100
  • Cameras and Imaging: Metalenz, PolarEyesTM
  • Lasers: Kyocera SLD Laser, LaserLight LiFi System
  • Quantum Tech: QuiX Quantum, 20-mode Quantum Photonic Processor
  • Sensors: Ocean Insight, SpeedSorterTM
  • Software: Dotphoton, Jetraw
  • Test and Measurement: Precitec Optronik, Flying Spot Scanner (FSS 310)

View the full press release from SPIE

Metalenz Invited Speaker at SPIE AR|VR|MR

Metalenz Invited Speaker at SPIE AR|VR|MR

Metalenz to Participate at SPIE AR|VR|MR and Photonics West as Invited Speaker and Prism Award Finalist, Recruit at Job Fair.

January 27, 2023 – The SPIE AR | VR | MR conference, collocated with Photonics West, and taking place Jan 31 & Feb 1, is focused on the hardware and technologies shaping the future of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality, and enabling the metaverse. As invited speaker, Rob Devlin, Metalenz Co-founder and CEO will discuss how Metalenz has taken metasurfaces from lab to commercialization, and how the company’s ability to simplify and shrink complex optical systems with metasurface technology enables advanced sensing for improved XR experiences.

Schedule

Invited Talks 4: Hardware Ecosystems

Rob Devlin, Co-founder and CEO, Metalenz

Metasurfaces: from lab to mass production

February 1, 2023 4:00 p.m. PST

AR | VR | MR Main Stage, Level 3 West, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

Full Schedule

Additional Participation During Photonics West

Prism Award Finalist

In addition to presenting, Metalenz is a finalist for the Prism Award for its PolarEyes™ Polarization Imaging System. PolarEyes characterizes depth, material properties and detects transparent objects–bringing new information to a mobile form factor for the first time.

Now in its 15th year, the Prism Awards continue to recognize and honor the best optics and photonics products and technical innovations being brought to market. Award winners will be announced at a gala celebration at Photonics West on February 1.

More info here

Job Fair

Metalenz will participate in the AR|VR|MR job fair taking place on January 31 and Feb 1. Members of the Metalenz team will be present onsite at booth AVRJF2 Moscone Center West to discuss open positions and answer questions.

More info here

CES 2023 – Metalenz to Participate in EMD Electronics Tech Talks

CES 2023 – Metalenz to Participate in EMD Electronics Tech Talks

EMD Electronics, the U.S. and Canada Electronics business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has organized a slate of Tech Talks showcasing technologies and applications for advancing digital living with senior executives and invited industry experts and partners at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

As part of this special programming, Metalenz has been invited to participate in the panel, “Digital Optics & the Metaverse: Hardware That Opens the World Up to New Virtual Worlds”.

Event poster VR headset

About the event

Today, users access the metaverse through gaming headsets and smartphones. As innovation of VR, XR and AR create new possibilities for the metaverse for those not only deep in the discipline, but also for the average consumer’s everyday life – the usability, comfort, and seamlessness of the hardware and the technology will be key to mass adoption. In this Tech Talk, Lars Johnsson, VP of Product, Sales & Marketing at Metalenz will join experts Richard Harding, Jacob Woodruff, and Julien Wu of EMD Electronics to discuss the material and device innovations- to create lighter, slimmer devices, improved optical experiences, increased computing power, and improved energy efficiency – all of which are making this future a reality for the masses.

Johnsson will discuss how innovative optical metasurfaces from Metalenz can enable next-generation 3D sensing capability with significantly improved  performance and precision as compared to conventional optics. In addition, Metalenz  provides new information to machine vision systems by shrinking complex sensing devices to mobile form factors and price point for the first time.

Schedule

January 5th, 2023 2:30 p.m. PST

Digital Optics & the Metaverse: Hardware That Opens the World Up to New Virtual Worlds

In person:  EMD Electronics Booth #9217 in the Las Vegas Convention North Hall

Online (free!):  Streaming Live on LinkedIn