The name of DynaOptics' iPhone lens attachment, OOWA, is derived from the sound users make, when they see beautiful photography.
DynaOptics began when Dr Kelvin Chea was studying for his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at NUS in 2012. He was part of a team that invented free-form lenses that are able to achieve slim optical zoom without bulky protrusion. Realising the potential for commercialisation, Kelvin teamed up with Chan Li Han to co-found DynaOptics. They licensed the invention from NUS and raised about SG$4 million over four years, with the objective to bring this technology to mobile phones and other consumer devices.
They first created a suite of iPhone lens attachments, OOWA, which enabled photographers to take high quality wide-angle and telephoto shots easily and conveniently with their mobile phones. In June 2016, DynaOptics launched a Kickstarter campaign for their first batch of OOWA lenses. The campaign raised more than US$60,000 from over 530 backers.
The team, headquartered in B1k71 in Singapore, enrolled in Stanford's StartX accelerator programme in 2013. This helped the company raise its visibility to early-stage investors and build up their networks with other start-up founders. The company has since established strong connections in Taiwan, China and Silicon Valley focusing on manufacturing, business development, investor relations and sales, and has employees from seven different countries.
Moving forward, DynaOptics has already unveiled the prototype for its second product, the WALA Cam (World's First Compact Wide-Angle, Low-Aberration Camera), and has started work on its third product. Like OOWA, WALA Cam is also a free-form lens product, but is made for drone cameras, webcams, action cams and surveillance cameras. DynaOptics began mass production of WALA Cam in the first quarter of 2017.