Fox to Buy Stake in Virtual Reality Glasses Maker

Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film

"The power of virtual and augmented reality enables us to deliver on our longstanding commitment to bring audiences exciting new creative experiences," says Jim Gianopulos, chair and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film.

21st Century Fox said Tuesday that it has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire a minority stake in Osterhout Design Group, a designer and manufacturer of augmented and virtual reality glasses and smartglasses.

Once the deal is completed, Fox will become the principal outside investor in ODG. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

In addition, the companies plan to enter a strategic partnership that brings together ODG’s technologies with Fox’s content and storytelling.

"ODG is further cementing its leadership in the smartglasses arena as it moves into immersive experiences for entertainment with the introduction of its high-definition, cinema-wide field of view technology, which it is demonstrating at CES 2016," the company said.

"The power of virtual and augmented reality enables us to deliver on our longstanding commitment to bring audiences exciting new creative experiences fueled by next generation technologies," said Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film. "Our agreement with ODG underscores the innovation we are bringing to market through our Fox Innovation Lab, most recently with VR experiences for The Martian and Wild."

Said Ralph Osterhout, CEO of ODG: "This space is ultimately heading towards widespread consumer adoption and by having 21st Century Fox onboard, we’ll be able to deliver immersive and interactive entertainment experiences that transform how users consume content."

ODG’s current smartglasses, the R-7, feature ultra-transparent 3D stereoscopic displays. They require no external computing.

Privately-held San Francisco-based Osterhout was founded in 1999 and has more than 80 employees.

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