SAN FRANCISCO, May 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Openwater is a healthcare company that is revolutionizing and minitiarizing the way we read and write our body and brain. After demonstrating a prototype working system at TED, Openwater announced today that it is ramping up to build developer kits.
Openwater's technology coalesces and leverages three keys: first, that red & near-infrared light (both benign) penetrates our bodies and brains; second, that holography can filter and descatter that light; and third, that Moore's Law improvements in silicon manufacturing enable its inventions, that both record holograms and scan the body, to be realized at scale.
"We have proved the bases of the physics in our lab prototypes over the last year, and we've invented the chip architectures to speed this up and shrink it down to portable forms," said Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen, CEO and founder of Openwater. "These should enable new generations of non-invasive diagnoses and treatments, and even brain-to-computer communications without cracking open our skulls."
Seed financing to build the prototype was led by Excel Venture Management and a group of distinguished technology investors including Brook Byers, Esther Dyson, Gary Lauder, Howard Morgan, and Nicholas Negroponte, and the musician / human rights activist Peter Gabriel. The company also announced that Jeff Huber, founding chairman and CEO of Grail, Inc., and former Google Senior Vice President, has joined Openwater's board, alongside Juan Enriquez, Managing Director at Excel Venture Management and Dr. Jepsen.
"Mary Lou is a light magician, able to bend photons to image and begin to understand the most fundamental processes occurring within our brain," said Juan Enriquez; "Over the next two years Openwater will likely create extraordinary opportunities to improve health care, and to build extraordinary brain interfaces."
Funds from the current raise will be used to miniaturize the prototype and scale manufacturing.
About Mary Lou Jepsen
Before founding Openwater, Dr. Jepsen was an engineering executive at Facebook, Oculus, Google and Intel. She has founded four startups, including One Laptop per Child where she was CTO, chief architect and delivered to mass production the $100 laptop. She has been a professor at both MITs: MIT in Cambridge, Mass., and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. She is an inventor of over 200 published or issued patents, and has shipped billions of dollars' worth of consumer electronics at the edge of what physics allows. She has been recognized with many awards including TIME magazine's "Time 100" as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and as a CNN top 10 thinker.
Openwater is a San Francisco-based startup focused on devising a new generation of imaging technologies, with high resolution and low costs, enabling medical diagnoses and treatments, and a new era of fluid and affordable brain-to-computer communications. The firm's vision - changing how we read and write our bodies and brains - leverages important inventions in opto-electronic and holographic systems, using red and benign near-infrared light, which penetrate our flesh and bones. The goal is to use these technologies to build better, faster and cheaper solutions in healthcare - for strokes, cancer and many diseases, all working non-invasively - without opening the body or brain.
About Excel Venture Management
Excel Venture Management builds companies that apply transformative technologies to solve problems in healthcare and beyond. The Excel investment portfolio is balanced across healthcare IT and services, diagnostics, and medical devices, plus life science platforms that address adjacent markets including energy, chemicals, defense, and agriculture. Excel's investments include Aileron, ClearDATA, Gemphire, InfoBionic, Molecular Templates, Oculus, Openwater, Orionis, QStream, Saladax, Synthetic Genomics, Virgin Pulse, Tetraphase, WellDoc, and Zipongo.
Press articles on Openwater
- Financial Times - Openwater was named One of 50 Ideas to the change the world - 2/4/18
- Business Insider - An ex-Facebook exec who "went home to die" is making a device - 10/21/17
- Financial Times- Mary Lou Jepsen on the wearable MRI - 10/10/17
- Quartz - High Resolution MRI-Like imagery without the metal coffin - 10/2/17
- CNBC - The former Google[x] exec is building a high tech hat - 7/7/17
- Re/Code "Can A high tech ski cap read my mind or tell me when I'm sick?" 3/17/17
- IEEE Spectrum "Why Mary Lou Jepsen left Facebook: to transform healthcare and consumer telepathy" 3/15/17
- The Verge "Wearable tech has to be really good or really wearable" 3/15/17
- Wall Street Journal "Facebook loses virtual reality innovator" 5/6/16
- Xconomy "Mary Lou Jepsen on life post-Facebook and New Startup, Openwater" 5/6/16
- Engadget "Oculus exec Mary Lou Jepsen resigns to create new MRI tech" 5/6/16
- CNET "Oculus exec Mary Lou Jepsen resigns to cure diseases" 5/5/16