The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) head-up displays (HUDs) is driven by factors such as increasing demand for AR and VR technology, growing adoption of AR/VR in the automotive industry, government regulations to promote the adoption of AR/VR HUDs in vehicles, and decreasing cost of AR/VR HUDs  as well as growing importance of technologies such as display technologies and sensors. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Virtual and augmented reality in automotive: AR/VR head-up displaysBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

AR/VR head-up displays is a key innovation area in virtual and augmented reality

AR/VR head-up displays involve the projection of virtual or augmented reality information onto a transparent surface, which is typically a windshield or a pair of glasses. These displays provide drivers with information such as route directions, speed limits or safety alerts in real-time, reducing the need for drivers to look down at their dashboard, ultimately improving driving safety.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AR/VR head-up displays.

Key players in AR/VR head-up displays – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to AR/VR head-up displays

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Fujifilm 15 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 14 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 8 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 37 Unlock Company Profile
InterDigital 5 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 4 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 12 Unlock Company Profile
RedZone Robotics 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Seiki 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Eyelab 4 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 13 Unlock Company Profile
EssilorLuxottica 22 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 22 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 9 Unlock Company Profile
Intuitive Surgical 4 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 40 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 5 Unlock Company Profile
Samvardhana Motherson International 4 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 23 Unlock Company Profile
LG 39 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 3 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 10 Unlock Company Profile
Snap 5 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 149 Unlock Company Profile
Cloud DX 8 Unlock Company Profile
InteraXon 8 Unlock Company Profile
Healthy io 9 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
MassVR 5 Unlock Company Profile
Stradvision 10 Unlock Company Profile
Australian Technology Network 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Magic Leap is one of the leading patent filers in AR/VR head-up displays. The Magic Leap 2 features several innovative technologies, including Dynamic Dimming, which is an industry-first technology that allows the Magic Leap 2 to display digital content in brightly lit environments. This is achieved by limiting 99.7% of visible light from the headset display. The Magic Leap 2 has a high-resolution field of view that provides users with a more realistic and immersive AR and VR experience. Some other key patent filers in the space include Porsche Automobil, LG, and Toyota Motor.

In terms of application diversity, InteraXon leads the pack, while Healthy io and Magna International stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Magic Leap held the top position, followed by Magna International and Samsung Group.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Augmented Reality (AR) in Automotive.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.