Volvo Cars has invested in an undisclosed sum in Spectralics – an optical and imaging technology start-up – through its Tech Fund venture capital investment arm. It gives Volvo Cars access to new technologies at an early stage of development that could make cars safer and enhance in-vehicle user experiences.

One of the core solutions provided by Spectralics is its multi-layered thin combiner (MLTC). This is a new type of thin optics film applicable to a variety of see-through surfaces. When integrated into a car’s windshield or windows, it could be used to overlay imagery on the glass.

In a windshield configuration, the technology could create a wide field of view HUD that can instill a sense of distance as virtual objects are superimposed onto the real-world environment for a safe and immersive experience.

Other potential use cases of the MLTC include advanced filters for various applications, in-cabin sensing, blind-proof front-looking cameras, and digital holographic projections.