PRINCE Andrew was transported into an alternative reality as he officially opened the new office of a rapidly expanding high tech business yesterday.

His Royal Highness The Duke of York, was shown the latest in augmented reality (AR) wearables during a tour of WaveOptics, which has just opened in Milton Park.

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The company is the leading designer and manufacturer of ‘diffractive waveguides’ which are used in devices such as smartglasses.

These enable users to see computer-generated images overlaid on top of the real world and are being used in fields such as gaming and entertainment, medicine, education and business.

The company's technology is designed to be used in immersive AR experiences in industrial, enterprise and consumer markets around the world.

The prince has been aware of its work since it took part in his 'Pitch@Palace' event in 2016.

Pitch@Palace was founded by HRH in 2014 as a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs.

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David Hayes, CEO at WaveOptics, said yesterday: “It is a privilege to welcome HRH The Duke of York to our new purpose built, state of the art offices.

"From his first meeting with WaveOptics at Pitch@Palace 6.0 he has shown a great interest in our business and category defining technology.

“Today provides a great opportunity to update The Duke on the significant progress we have made and our pride in being a member of the Pitch@Palace family."

WaveOptics has recently raised £20million in new funding from existing shareholders and new investors.

It is also expanding overseas and has opened offices across the United States and Asia.

The new office is the latest to join Milton Park, already the home of several leading science businesses.

The new office will include research and development facilities, office space as well as a dedicated customer area.

It represents an expansion of more than 250 per cent since WaveOptics first moved to the park in 2015.

Since presenting at Pitch@Palace, WaveOptics has grown from just under 15 employees to more than 70 employees around the world.

Mr Hayes added: “We recently raised £20m funding to scale our business both nationally and internationally and secured a number of leading global strategic partners. The decision to move to a larger office is a logical step in our expansion strategy and a reflection of our rapid growth.

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“These new offices will provide the space for us to continue to invest in research and development to support our rapid international development.”

The company is aiming for its waveguides to become the core optical component used in all AR wearable devices.

AR glasses work due to two key elements - a light source such as a projector and a means of transferring the image to the eye. WaveOptics' waveguide technology transfers light waves from the source and projects them onto the user's eyes.