Toronto Company Focusing on Real-World Quantum Applications Rather Than Far-Fetched Realizations of The Technology

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Temperature, Pressure & Radiation

One of the greatest achievements of science to date has been the molecular-level manipulation of material properties. Nanotechnology, the formal scientific epithet to all this hocus-pocus, has allowed man to improve the controlled delivery of drugs, biocompatible materials, build more advanced sensors, enhance telecommunications tech and delivery, develop state-of-the-art pharmaceutical products, and develop the most indestructible surface coatings the world has ever seen by controlling — somehow — the physical effects of temperature, pressure and radiation.

All breathtaking achievements, but there’s still more around the corner to come for the development of nanomaterials and the science of nanotechnology in general.

Smart materials, polymers, nanostructured coatings, composites, and hybrids have yet to reach their full potential in becoming practical appliances useful for our everyday lives. Technologies like nanojoining and nanotribology, though talked about in nanotechnology conferences around the globe as the new messiahs for the advancement of the science, are in their early stages.

Yet the technology will get there, helped along by the sorcery of quantum mechanics.

One company, focused on the development of advanced materials for OLED displays for TVs and the automotive industry with quantum mechanics at play, has some of the things already mentioned in mind.

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OTI Lumionics — whose goal is to manipulate quantum computing (QC) for the benefit of materials discovery — was founded in Toronto almost a decade ago now, in 2011. Proud of the fact it’s a unique player in the space, OTI’s leading-edge OLED solutions are revolutionizing the consumer electronics market with a quantum twist, of course.

Those Netflix episode marathons on the flatscreen may never be the same again.

OTI Lumionics

Developing an integrated materials IP that has a proven real-world pilot production blending ML and quantum simulations, OTI is on to a winner with its lighting and transparent displays which could soon move into another realm of sophistication.

‘We used higher performance computing, machine learning (AI) and feedback from our in-house production testing to help develop an entirely new class of materials that are solving critical manufacturing problems for OLED displays.’

— OTI Lumionics

So, what’s so special about OTI’s approach, and more to the point, the story of its end product?

The team, naturally.

OTI’s materials discovery team executes high-performance computing (HPC) simulations and AI algorithms to fabricate production-ready top-of-the-line materials without the need of a wet-lab, which — in the long run — can save a shed load in time and cash.

OTI’s three founders are president/CEO Michael Helander, Zhibin Wang, the company’s CTO and vice president Jacky Qiu. Their combined expertise in chemical engineering, philosophy, materials science and engineering is surely the magic ingredient. This is backed up by a supporting cast of collaborators/partnerships from the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto, D-Wave Systems, Rigetti Computing, IQC, and Microsoft.

With a number of venture rounds stretching back since 2013 — the last one being in the summer of this year — totalling some CA$5.7M, OTI’s financial position looks healthy, too.

But most of all, though, what TQD loves about OTI is the ‘now’ factor, the way the company is working on real-world problems like LED displays rather than the far-fetched realizations of IBM’s ‘1000-qubit quantum computer by 2023’ which — by the way — may or may not come to fruition.

As an advocate of everything quantum tech, TQD hopes Armonk’s favourite company achieves its goals. If not, well shucks, there’s still Google, Microsoft and others to fill the void.

The here is now, and the now is flatscreen TVs, laptops, and smartphones for the sycophants hooked on the streaming services provided by the likes of Amazon and Netflix watched on devices produced by Apple and Sony.


OTI, on the cusp of shaking up the technology via the power of quantum mechanics, may have its critics who believe quantum tech’s influence on the space is limited, but others wear different glasses, ones with optimistic lenses.

A change is coming. One where quantum tech will be the major, long-term player. And it will be companies like OTI — and the individuals that run them — that will for all sense and purposes be having the last laugh.

If you found this article to be informative, you can explore more current quantum news here, exclusives, interviews, and podcasts.

James Dargan

James Dargan is a writer and researcher at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader.

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