Real D sees its way to buy ColorLink

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With an aim to improve the look of digitally projected 3-D imagery, 3-D provider Real D has acquired Boulder, Colo.-based photonics company ColorLink. Under the agreement, ColorLink will become a subsidiary of Real D, and ColorLink president and CEO Leo Bannon will become Real D's COO. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the agreement, Real D gains published patents covering optical, liquid crystal and light-based technologies. In addition, ColorLink offers a line of 3-D imaging components for entertainment, gaming, industrial and scientific applications.

The companies already had been working together, Real D chairman Michael Lewis said.

"ColorLink had been a supplier of certain components of our system," he said. "They are experts at light manipulation. We felt (ColorLink technologies) were complementary and would improve our product as we move forward."

One of the issues associated with 3-D digital cinema is brightness. Lewis said that when light is polarized, roughly 50% of the light is lost. "ColorLink is really strong in that already, (strong in) the quality of the color and amount of light we are able to recapture on the screen," he said.

The acquisition includes ColorLink's R&D campus in Boulder as well as its manufacturing facilities in Tokyo and Shanghai; all are scheduled to remain open.
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